Mumbai: Stating that acts of enforcing a dress code and moral policing is leading to mental trauma, the JJ Hospital Grant Medical College Students’ Association has filed a petition with the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) and the Education Minister, against Dean of the institute.
The dress code order was issued on March 23 by the medical college Dean Dr Ajay Chandanwale and Medical College Campus Hostel Warden Shilpa Patil.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported about the notice which read that the dress code has to be followed by the students and no shorts or short dress will be allowed. It also stated that no vulgarity inside the campus is permitted, and cases of harassment on girls will not be tolerated. It further stated that girls should come back to the hostel by 10 pm.
The decision to impose this dress code strictly for female MBBS students was taken in pursuance to the Holi event when ruckus and unruly scenes by some youth were witnessed at the reputed medical college campus. Some students had torn each other’s clothes during the Holi festivities.
This decision had however met severe backlash from female medicos. On March 24, the students protested against what they claimed was an attempt at moral policing by authorities through a diktat asking them not to wear “short skirts” and to sit separately from male counterparts during events.
The commotion saw these students wearing ankle length clothes with covered faces showing their resentment towards the circular from authorities.
Now, condeming the alleged diktat imposed by the Dean, the students’ association has filed a petition to DMER and the education minister, Girish Mahajan, reports Mid-Day.
“Moral policing in the campus has been carried out regularly by the orders of dean, where boys and girls aren’t allowed to talk to each other in college campus after college hours. Dress code and unreasonable timings for girls’ hostel during the annual college fest, Asthiva. Girls were screened on the basis of their outfits by faculty member sent by dean’s order including ladies hostel warden Dr Shilpa Patil,” the letter mentions
The students have also complained that female students are often subjected to verbal abuse, especially those who have protested against the Dean. “Protesting students have also been threatened of academic consequences by the college authority… The lady warden Dr Shilpa Patil abuses ladies representative every now and then. This has been a mental torture and representatives are traumatised,” adds the letter.
It has also been alleged by the female medicos that the medical college authorities even created an in-house library so female students didn’t have to step out of the hostel for studies, whereas male students are allowed to roam without any restrictions.
Former Dean of the hospital, Director of DMER, Dr TP Lahane, said he would look into the matter.
Meanwhile, an another report by Mid-Day states that the doctors are also miffed at many of the orders issued by the Dean. Dr Chandawale had issued an internal circular dated March 20. According to the doctors, some of the points were just impractical and achieve nothing beyond putting unwarranted pressure tactics, which will only cause inconvenience and adversely impact their working conditions.