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Female trainee clerks of Surat Municipal Corporation made to stand naked for test, probe ordered

Image for representational purpose only.

Image for representational purpose only.  

Female trainee clerks of the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) were allegedly made to stand naked together in a room for a medical test at a civic body-run hospital in Surat, prompting authorities to order a probe.

Surat Municipal Commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani on Friday ordered a probe into allegations that around 10 female trainee clerks of the civic body were made to stand naked for a medical test in the gynaecology ward of the hospital.

The shocking incident comes days after students of a girls’ college in Gujarat’s Bhuj town were allegedly forced by hostel authorities to remove their undergarments to prove they were not menstruating.

In its complaint to the commissioner on Thursday, the SMC Employees Union alleged even unmarried women were checked for pregnancy by female doctors.

The alleged incident took place in the Surat Municipal Institute of Medical Education and Research (SMIMER) hospital, run by the SMC, on February 20.

Acting on the complaint, Mr. Pani on Friday formed a three-member committee to probe the allegations and submit a report in 15 days.

The committee comprises former dean of the medical college Dr. Kalpana Desai, Assistant Municipal Commissioner Gayatri Jariwala and executive engineer Trupti Kalathia.

As per rules, all trainee employees need to undergo a physical test to prove their fitness for the job upon the completion of their training period, said officials.

The union said though they are not against the mandatory test, the method adopted for women staff in the gynecology ward was not proper.

“Instead of calling the women one after another in the room for the test, lady doctors made them stand naked in group of 10. This act of compelling them to stand naked with others is highly deplorable.

“This method is illegal and against humanity. It is necessary that each woman is checked separately,” said the union in its complaint.

According to the general secretary of the union, Ahmed Shaikh, women staff were put in an embarrassing situation by lady doctors with their absurd questions about pregnancy during the test.

“Doctors should stop asking private questions about pregnancy. Moreover, even unmarried women in that group were subjected to a physical test meant for checking if they were pregnant or not.

“They were put in an embarrassing situation in front of other women. Women’s respect must be maintained during medical tests,” said Mr. Shaikh.

Surat Mayor Jagdish Patel assured stern action against the culprits.

“This issue is very serious. Such physical tests are conducted on all those employees who are getting permanent after finishing their training period.

“We will take strict action against the culprits if the allegations levelled by the women staffers are found to be true,” said Mr. Patel.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 11:59:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/women-trainees-made-to-stand-naked-for-physical-test-in-surat-probe-ordered/article30879830.ece

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