Thrivananthapuram: A female student who was appearing for National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), in Koovappuram center in Kerala got the shock of a lifetime even before the beginning of the test. Overzealous security personnel asked the 18-year-old girl to remove her bra and threatened that she will not be allowed to sit for NEET if she didn’t comply.
Every student appearing for the mandatory NEET test had to pass through a security cubicle for the security check. When the security personnel deployed there detected that her bra had a metal hook, they asked her to remove her bra.
“I reached the exam centre by 8 and was wearing a half-sleeve top and a black pant. At the gate, they told me that dark coloured pants weren’t allowed and that I needed to change, to be allowed inside the exam hall. Yesterday being a Sunday, most of the shops remained shut. My mother and I had to walk for at least 2 km to find a shop, get a change of clothes and then return to the exam hall,” Anitha says.
While recounting the horror she suffered, the 18-year old girl says, “When I walked through the metal detector, it beeped. I told them that it was my bra-strap that had a metal hook on it, but they refused to let me in. They insisted that I remove it. Although I argued with them that the rules does not mention anything about innerwear, they refused to hear my pleas. Then I went to one side of the room, removed my bra and handed it over to my mother who was standing outside the gate. As I entered the exam hall to write the test, I had little confidence left in me”.
The rules of the NEET seem to be arbitrary and bizarre. Many students were asked to remove their sleeves before appearing in the exam last year. Some students, who had no way to go back and get a new shirt on, tore their sleeves and appeared in the exam in the same torn clothes.
There is no denying that it badly impacts the young students who are already very stressed after months of round the clock preparations for their examination. Principal of Tisk English Medium School, Kannur, Jalaluddin said was quoted by the NDTV as saying, “We have clear instructions that if a metal detector beeps, no one should be allowed inside. The incident of students being asked to remove their innerwear hasn’t taken place. I don’t know where this is coming from. I have called a meeting with those involved in the frisking arrangements at the school.” Reports suggest that the incident happened in the same school.
The girl’s mother who herself is a teacher is furious. “My daughter was wearing an expensive bra, that had a metal hook unlike the less costlier ones that have plastic hooks. So many of the other students did not have the problem, but a few including my daughter were harassed. How can they ask an 18-year-old girl to remove her bra just ahead of appearing for a test? What common sense is this?” says she.
She said that such arbitrary acts destroy the confidence of the students. “How could they not consider the mental state of the students, who have prepared hard for this exam? And imagine, 10 minutes before the exam commences, the student is asked to remove her bra. It is bound to mentally affect the child”, her mother says.