The design of a school uniform in Aruvithura, Kottayam, has stirred up a storm with some people calling it “vulgar”. The outrage grew after a photographer, Zachariah Ponkunnam, posted an image on his Facebook wall of three girls of the St Alphonsa Public School wearing the uniform.
The post gained momentum after social media users blamed the school authorities for promoting “vulgarity”. According to those men, the half jackets that the girls wore looked “indecent” and were “provocative”.
I'm wondering what thought went into that design.Superman wears underwear on pants so these are bras on top if someone skips them?
— Itna Sara ¯_(ツ)_/¯ (@ChulbuliImli) June 5, 2017
— ProudHindu (@isitso15) June 5, 2017
Following the incident, the school authorities have decided to change the design for girls studying in class V to X so that students don’t face embarrassment. The half jacket will now be replaced by an overcoat.
“We have not done any wrong. It was the PTA that selected the design and got it stitched three months ago. We have not received any complaints from the parents regarding the uniform till now. However, we are all worried about the controversy and the children are upset. So we have decided to make a change to the uniform,” PTA president Sabu Cyriac told The New Indian Express. He also spoke to TOI and said,
“We chose the design from a booklet that illustrated various types of uniforms. The school purchased the cloth and stitched the uniform for its students. Obscenity is in the eyes of the beholder”
He also mentioned that the photo was fabricated as the uniform in the photo was completely different from the original one.
Kala Shibu, a psychologist, who read the post, was shocked and said, “The design is not appropriate as it will make girls feel that their biggest problem is a part of their body,“ reports The Times Of India.
Such incidents highlight the urgent need to build consensus among people on what exactly vulgarity in the Indian scenario refers to.
Image credits: The News Minute
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