Girl students in Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology cannot wear miniskirts, nightgowns and shorts in the campus, dining room and hostel office area, according to an order issued by college authorities, drawing strong reaction from the young ladies.
A notice in this regard was issued by campus hostel warden, Jyoti Swaroop, in which it was also said that hostel residents will have to report back by 9:30 pm if they go out.
While girls in the campus were not happy with the order, authorities said it was issued in view of their safety.
“This notice was issued by the warden for the safety of girls, as there are many male workers in the campus and mess. We didn’t expect that it would become a big issue,” public relations officer, MANIT, Ajay Verma said.
“There are national institutes like NIFT, IIFM and NLIU in Bhopal, but nowhere have we heard about such notices,” a girl student told HT, on condition of anonymity. “Why are we restricted then? Why is our freedom infringed?” she asked.
“Hostel is our home now. Why can’t we dress the way we want to? Had this notice been put up in the college, it would have been justified. I am afraid girls will not really follow this here,” another girl said.
The girls said they would talk to the in-charge director of the institute, N K Chaudhary, who is out of station now, and convince him to roll back the order.
This is not the first time comments on the attire of women has kicked a controversy in Madhya Pradesh.
Former women and child development minister Maya Singh had said that women should not wear naqaabs (veils) and found a backer in former education minister Paras Jain, who said it will be good if people do not cover their faces.
However, these comments were strongly condemned by women’s rights activists and Congress leaders.
The girls also voiced objection to the 9.30 pm deadline for returning to the campus, saying they have to sometimes stay late for their projects and if they are not able to make it to the hostel on time, would have to stay outside all night.
(with inputs from Saima Abbasi)