I recently came across a revolting practice while researching on content for my next post. I was too sickened and outraged to comment when I read it, so I'll put it up here for my readers.
A hostel in Madurai has been forcing students to maintain a public register of their menstrual cycle. This, apparently, is to prevent pre-marital sex and to ensure that teenage girls do not 'go astray'.
This crass invasion of girls' privacy has been taking place for years at the government hostel for poor and backward class students in the affluent and very urban Madurai. The register has columns for the exact dates of their cycle. Even slightly irregular dates invite snide remarks and harsh reprimands by the hostel warden.
"Making them write down their menstrual cycle dates creates mental torture. Most girls are not even able to tell their parents about these things. It is creating a lot of tension," said Jeeva, Regional Convenor, TN Child Rights Protection Network.
Defending the outrageous measure, the hostel warden says it is the best way to 'keep the girls under check' and prevent possible pre-marital sex. "I've only been continuing what my predecessors started. I am doing it with students' interest at heart," said Selvarani, warden, Adi Dravidar Students Hostel.
The girls revealed that the policing is done by the cook under the overall supervision of the warden. But while their records may be strictly monitored, their sanitation is not. The girls claim their hostel has just one bathroom but that is exclusively for the warden. The girls can enter it but only to clean it and not use it. Ironically the moral brigade is unconcerned about the fact that the girls have to bathe out in the open after dusk. From banning anything except sari and salwar-kameez-dupatta on college campuses to monitoring their menstrual cycles, primitive mindsets, it seems, are there to stay in our educational institutes as well.
Courtesy: "Reflections" (Dr. Bruno's blog) and NDTV