‘Sack Grant Medical College warden for moral policing’
The government committee investigating allegations of moral policing at Grant Medical College (GMC), has recommended that one warden be sacked with immediate effect for enforcing regressive rules and that the dean of Sir JJ Hospital make an effort to engage with students. GMC is affiliated to Sir JJ Hospital.
In March, students of GMC alleged that Dr Ajay Chandanwale, dean of Sir JJ Hospital, had prohibited male and female students who live on campus from talking to each other after college hours. They also complained that the warden of the girls’ hostel, Shilpa Patil, insisted on a dress code during the college festival Astitva, which is held in March.
“The warden would ask us to change into covered clothes if she saw anyone of us in skirts, shorts or dresses,” a student had told HT. Around 100 students had protested against this moral policing by gathering outside Grant Medical College Association Gymkhana, Marine Lines, on April 3.
Following this, a three-member committee was set up by the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER). In its report, which was submitted recently to the director of DMER, the committee said that Chandanwale had tried to change the environment in GMC.
“The dean worked at BJ Medical Pune till three months before coming to Grant Medical College. Mumbai’s environment is different from Pune, yet he tried to make tremendous efforts to create a Pune-like environment here. Also, he did not take students into confidence about his thought process which is why the students got frightened. Had the dean communicated with them, it would have been a different scenario,” the report said.
The report also found that the dean did not attend convocation and other college functions.
“We have recommended that the dean organise and participate in events for students to bridge the gap,” said Dr Lahane.
The committee saw videos that showed Patil asking girls to change their outfits and on this basis, it has recommended that the warden be sacked with immediate effect.
“Asking girls and boys not to talk to each other, telling girls what clothes to wear are regressive actions. Such rules were implemented 40 years ago,” said Dr Lahane.
Dr Chandanwale said he was unaware of the findings of the report.
“We just wanted to ensure discipline on campus,” he said. One of the student organisers of the April protest said they haven’t received a copy of the DMER report, but they welcome the committee’s recommendations.