MEDAK: In a shocking and insensitive act, the principal of a Tribal Girls Gurukul School here had the hair of 150 girl students cut about two days ago, all because there is not enough water in the hostel for them to take bath regularly. The incident came to light only on Tuesday.
School principal K Aruna had summoned two barbers to the hostel and had their hair cut. The students were allegedly forced to shell of Rs. 25 each for a haircut which they did not want.
The thoughtless action of the principal came to light when parents of the students visited the hostel on Sunday and Monday as they were public holidays and were aghast watching them with boys' haircut.
A few parents entered into an argument with the school staff while others staged a dharna protesting the way the authorities were treating their children.
When parents cornered the principal and teachers, they were told that the girls were unable to maintain their hair and apart from this there was also problem of lack of enough water in the hostel.
The students said the teachers had their hair cut forcibly without their consent. The teachers, however, argued that as there are wounds in their scalps, the girls were made to undergo haircut.
School principal K Aruna tried to play down the issue. "All the students are like my children," she said, but denied that haircut was done against their wish. "We have students of first to fifth standard in our hostel. We have had their hair cut with their willingness. There is severe water shortage since April and it has become difficult for the students to even wash the clothes and take bath regularly," she said.
The principal said water shortage was a perennial problem at the hostel and despite repeated pleas to the higher officials, the problem remained unresolved. She said that the haircut was done to the students after obtaining permission from the regional coordinator. Only parents of couple of students were opposing the haircut, she maintained.
The incident spread like wildfire with Collector M Dharma Reddy calling an explanation rom Aruna. He also directed BC Welfare Department to deputy an officer to make an inquiry into the incident an submit a report. "I came to know that some parents even assaulted the staff which is not proper," he said, and pointed out that since a inquiry has been ordered, action would be taken against those responsible for the girl students' haircut, after receiving the report.