NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Friday took suo moto cognisance of the incident in which 68 girls were reportedly asked to strip at a hostel in Gujarat after authorities found a sanitary pad on the campus.
“The Commission is disturbed by the report of this incident at Sahjanand Girls’ Institute in Bhuj, Gujarat,” the NCW said, adding that it has written to college trustee Pravin Pindora and principal Rita Raniga to provide an explanation of this “shameful exercise taking place in their institute.”
The Commission set up an inquiry committee that will visit the hostel. It also appealed to the girls to come forward and speak, and asked Kutch University V-C and Gujarat DGP to submit a report on action taken by them in the incident.
According to media reports, 68 undergraduate hostellers were paraded through the college into the restroom and forced to individually remove their undergarments to prove that they were not menstruating.
Students were subjected to the humiliating experience apparently because menstruating women are not allowed to enter into the hostel or kitchen during their period days and are isolated in basement area.
“We are setting up an inquiry team and visit the girls at the institute hostel, to speak and inquire about the incident. NCW has also appraised the Kutch University in-charge Vice-Chancellor Darshna Dholakia and the DGP of Gujarat, Shivanand Jha to look into the matter thoroughly and report to the commission at the earliest on their action taken reports to date,” it said.
“The Commission encourages the girls to come forward and speak without fear on grievances from this experience to the finding authority, or on any other similar incidents of exploitation if occurred to them in the past, and was not addressed before,” it added.