A controversy has sparked over the demand of 7 MBBS students at Kerala College allowing them to wear a hijab-like attire inside the operation theatre. Many across the internet have now started saying that girl students cannot raise a demand for wearing hijab and have raised the issue of patient’s sterility. But what’s the matter and what was the demand made by them?
Afeefa, a 2020 batch MBBS student of the Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram in a letter to the principal stating the dissatisfaction of some of the Muslim girl students from different batches of MBBS wrote a letter is regarding the disallowance for covering their heads inside the operation theatre.
The letter noted, in accordance with their religious convictions it is mandated for Muslim women to wear hijab under all circumstances. The letter said, that hijab-wearing Muslims are facing a difficult situation on how to strike a balance between adhering to hijab regulations and carrying out surgical duties complying with the regulations of the hospital and the operation theatre. The letter can refuel the heated discussions over hijab in campus.
It further noted proposals for alternatives based on the attire used by medical professionals around the globe and the choices provided by companies that produce clothing for surgical procedures.
The students in the letter have requested the principal to allow them to wear long sleeve scrub jackets’ and ‘surgical hoods’ as an alternative to hijab, which would be in compliance with maintaining sterile precautions and there hijab-wearing conviction will also be followed.
The letter further requested the principal to look into the matter on an urgent basis and consider their request. The letter had the undersigned names of 6 other students supporting the request letter facing the same problem.
As soon as the matter came to light people started sharing their opinions on this matter, as one user said that these students do not care about the hygiene and safety of the patients rather they are only concerned about their religious beliefs. While others raised questions that they should also replace their books with religious ones.
According to principal Dr. Lynette Morris, a committee has been established to discuss the students’ demands. Addressing the media, the principal said at this time, the institution is unable to accommodate the pupils’ requests. She added operation theatres are kept to international standards, and the safety of the patient comes first.
She added the committee established for this purpose would come up with a resolution within 10 days and he cannot take a decision on this issue alone.
The appeal by the students is made in light of the events that occurred in Karnataka last year following the then BJP-headed BS Bommai government banning the hijab on campuses. One side of the debate claimed that religious practice had no place in educational institutions, while the other saw the ban on the hijab as repression of minority rights.
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