70 girls were allegedly stripped Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh by a warden to “check for menstrual blood”. The event took place at a residential school when no other teacher was present and was initiated after specs of blood were found in a bathroom.
The warden – a lady – reportedly forced the girls to remove their clothes and sit down, naked, so as to check if any of them were menstruating. It happened on Sunday, and parents have since approached the police. Additionally, protests have been staged by the parents against the school.
The state government has ordered an investigation against the warden who, parents allege, “often hits the girls and blackmails them”.
One of the students told NDTV, “There was no teacher around. We were called downstairs (from the hostel). Madam made us to take off our clothes saying she will beat us if we did not. We are kids, what could we do? She would have beaten us had we not obeyed her.”
District education officer Chandrakesh Yadav told reporters, “We have taken prompt action. A five-member team has been formed. They are investigating the case and the warden will be removed soon. There is zero tolerance towards such acts.”
The warden has denied the allegation. “No one asked them to remove clothes. This is a conspiracy by the staff because they do not want me to stay here. I am strict, that is why they hate me,” she said.
The Logical Indian contacted many police authorities of Muzaffarnagar, However, we were unable to get an appropriate response.
The Logical Indian take
In the case of the Muzaffarnagar warden who forced 70 girls to strip so that she could check if any of them was menstruating, not only is the incident disturbing, it also reflects the regressive mindset of people.
Adolescence is an age which bridges the gap between childhood and adulthood. For girls, it lasts from 8 to 13 years while for boys it is from 10 and 15. During this phase, the body undergoes many changes along with emotional changes experienced by adolescents. This phase, together with the physical and emotional changes, is known as puberty. Each individual may experience the onset and completion of puberty at a slightly different age – there is no water tight compartment.
Puberty in boys brings about the broadening of chests and shoulders, deepening of voice, appearance of facial, body and pubic hair, increase in the size of genitals, and growth spurt in the form of rapid increase in height for 2-3 years. They also develop the ability to ejaculate. Meanwhile, girls develop breasts, hair in the armpit and the pubic area, experience widening of the hips, growth spurt in the form of sudden increase in height, and onset of menstruation.
Menstruation is a natural phenomenon of a human body and should be regarded in the same way. It should not lead to shame or guilt and the best way to tackle with those feelings is to talk about it with a trusted adult – a family member, a teacher or a counsellor. The Logical Indian community believes that a healthy society is one which accepts it as a natural process and does not degrade or segregate women undergoing the same.