Quite recently, on February 20th, the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC), Gujarat allegedly asked female trainee clerks to stand naked, in the same room, for a medical test; this occurred at a civic body-run hospital in Gujarat.
Later, the incident was reported to the commissioner, by the SMC employees union, and it was alleged, that both married and unmarried female workers were enforced to strip and stand unclothed, to be checked for pregnancy.
In order to prove physical fitness, all-female trainee employees were allegedly made to endure this physical and medical ordeal.
“Instead of calling the women one after another in the room for the test, lady doctors made them stand naked in a 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” the union mentioned in its complaint.
Ahmed Shaikh, the general secretary of the union stated, “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.”
The union said they are not against the mandatory test but these types of shocking incidents cannot be justified.
Surat Municipal Commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani, acting on the objection on Friday, formed a three-member committee, to investigate the accusations and submit a report in 15 days.
The committee includes the former dean of the medical college Dr. Kalpana Desai, Assistant Municipal Commissioner Gayatri Jariwala, and Executive Engineer Trupti Kalathia.
Surat Mayor, Jagdish Patel said, “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” and assured strict action against the culprits.
According to the rules, all trainee employees need to undergo a test to prove their physical fitness for the job, once they complete the training period.
The shocking event comes days after the students of a girls’ college in Gujarat’s Bhuj town were allegedly forced by the hostel authorities to take off their undergarments, to prove they were not menstruating.