A 12-year-old girl in Tamil Nadu killed herself after a teacher scolded her for staining her clothes with menstrual blood. The 7th grader, a student in a Senthil Nagar school, jumped off a 25 foot high building in her hometown of Tirunelvelli.
— ETV Bharat (@ETVBharatEng) August 31, 2017
The teacher has been charged with aiding the suicide. She left a note saying that she had been tortured by the teacher. The police have filed a case of abetment of suicide, but have made no arrests.
The girl’s family has registered a complaint with the police station. They have been investigating claims for the past two days. The family is saying that the teacher tortured her. The girl didn’t mention the period stain incident in her note. Her mother says that the incident was the reason for suicide. The police said that students of the school say they do not remember a period stain incident.
India has a tradition for shaming women about their periods. Last year a warden in a school in UP ordered a strip search of 70 girls, after seeing a few drops of blood on the floor of the girls’ bathroom.
In March, Congress leader MM Hassan from Kerala said that menstruation turns women’s bodies “impure.”
Women are not allowed to enter religious places during their periods. Many women aren’t allowed to enter the kitchen, and are kept in separate rooms during their periods. Girls are not educated about menstruation and are ashamed to talk about it. Even in urban areas, pads are given in black plastic bags, as if they are something to be hidden. It’s time we started talking about menstruation openly, and it’s time that our leaders and educators started breaking the stigma around it, so that we can avoid more tragic incidents like this one.