(BBC) – India’s uncomfortable relationship with periods is back in the headlines.
College students living in a hostel in the western Indian state of Gujarat have complained that they were made to strip and show their underwear to female teachers to prove that they were not menstruating.
The 68 young women were pulled out of classrooms and taken to the toilet, where they were asked to individually remove their knickers for inspection.
The incident took place in the city of Bhuj on Tuesday. The young women are undergraduate students at Shree Sahajanand Girls Institute (SSGI), which is run by Swaminarayan sect, a wealthy and conservative Hindu religious group.
They said a hostel official had complained to the college principal on Monday that some of the students were breaking rules menstruating women are supposed to follow.
According to these rules, women are barred from entering the temple and the kitchen and are not allowed to touch other students during their periods.
At meal times, they have to sit away from others, they have to clean their own dishes, and in the classroom, they are expected to sit on the last bench.