MEDAK: In shocking and insensitive act, the principal of the Tribal Girls Gurukul School here had the hair of 150 girl students cut about two days ago, all because there was not enough water in the hostel for them to bathe regularly. The incident came to light only on Tuesday. School principal K Aruna had summoned two barbers to the hostel and had the girls’ hair cut. The students were allegedly forced to shell out `25 each for a haircut they did not want.
The thoughtless action of the principal came to light when the students’ parents visited the hostel on Sunday and Monday, as they were public holidays, and were aghast at seeing the girls’ short hair. A few parents argued with the school staff, while others staged a dharna protesting the way the authorities were treating their children. Cornered by the parents, the principal and teachers said the girls were unable to maintain their hair, and there was also a shortage of water in the hostel.
As the students said the teachers had their hair cut forcibly and without their consent, the teachers argued that the girls had to have haircuts as they had wounds on their scalps.“All students are like my children,” School principal K Aruna said and tried to play down the issue.
She denied that the haircuts were against the girls’ wishes. “We have students of Classes I to V, and we got their hair cut with their consent. There has been a severe water shortage, and it has become difficult for the students to even bathe and wash their clothes regularly,” she said.
Outraged parents ‘assault’ school staff
Some parents staged a dharna to protest the way their daughters were treated. “I came to know that some parents even assaulted the staff, which is not proper,” said Collector M Dharma Reddy, after seeking an explanation for the haircuts from the principal. He directed the BC Welfare Department to depute an officer to inquire into the incident. The action would be taken against those responsible for the girls’ haircuts once a report based on the inquiry is submitted, he said