Bengaluru: A nursing college in Bengaluru is in the eye of a storm after it was accused by four of its students — all four are from Kashmir — of an attempt to curtail their religious freedom after they came under pressure from a new principal to shave off their beards.
The students were told by the school management that if they fail to do so, they could face expulsion.
The principal of Adarsha College of Nursing at Mariyappana Palya in Mallathahalli , Ms Priyadarshini, who took over only weeks ago admitted that she had barred the students from attending classes and called it a “disciplinary action”.
She said that she asked the students to shave off their facial hair because of “hygiene issues” as they tend to several patients and there are chances of them transmitting harmful bacteria to the patients. The principal, Ms. Priyadarshini, summoned the four students — three from first year, B.Sc (Nursing) and one from second year — and asked them to shave off their beards if they wanted marks in the internal exams.
“For the last one week, we are being sent out of class on instructions from the principal for not shaving our beards. The beards are part of our religion and I don’t understand why it should bother the principal,” the students said.
Mr Laxman Rudawat, convener of Nursing Association in Hyderabad told, “There is no particular rule in the medical books that the male nurses can’t be keep beards. But as a decorum and also maintaining the professional look the male nurses are asked to be clean shaved. The reason is in a beard a person’s perspective is that of a very serious or sad person and for that reason it is stated that they must be clean shaved.”
“The male nurses are told not to keep beard and long hair as it causes infection. The infection is due to touch and accumulation of sweat” said TS Indian Medical Association president Dr Narasinga Reddy.
— with inputs from Kaniza Garari
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