College Principal Reacts to TISS Students' Demands for Implementation of Period Leave

College Principal Reacts to TISS Students' Demands for Implementation of Period Leave

TISS students demand period leave, PSF intensifies campaign for implementation, backed by 200 menstruating students. Discontent with TISS's reluctance, students urge an inclusive attendance policy. Educators express reservations and emphasize personal responsibility.

Simple VishwakarmaUpdated: Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 03:39 PM IST
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TISS | Simple Vishwakarma

The Progressive Students' Forum (PSF) at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) is intensifying its campaign for the implementation of period leave at the institution. Backed by 200 menstruating students, the student group has written a letter to the vice-chancellor, requesting a relaxation of attendance rules for women during their menstrual cycles.

Speaking to The Free Press Journal (FPJ), a PSF representative stated on the condition of anonymity, “We are a student organisation on campus that has been demanding period leave for the last two years. We have been running campaigns for the same.” 

The student further elaborated on various phases of their campaign. 

“The first was a referendum in which 91% of students voted for leave. Then we ran a signature campaign. We also have a group of all the interested menstruating students in TISS who are actively part of the campaign. The third phase was a letter demanding period leave, and we submitted 200 letters of menstruating students to the admin on the 8th (March),” she added.

“Over 15 universities across India have already implemented period leave policies,” the letters stated. Students expressed their discontent with TISS's reluctance and urged the administration to form a panel of experts to evaluate the attendance policy, aiming to make it more inclusive and sensitive to gender-related issues.

How the other college's higher authorities reacted?

However, not all educators share the same viewpoint. Dean of SNDT University, Medha Tapiwala, expressed reservations, stating, “Exceptional cases are okay, but generically you can’t give leave like that.” She emphasised the importance of personal responsibility in managing one's body and learning.

Further, when asked about having a government policy she said, “I am doubtful. Because the intensity of all this is not the same for everyone. When we talk about welfare, then policy will be common for all. So in that case bring policy as such I am not affirmative about it.”

Vipul Saluja, the vice-principal of National College said, “It depends because it varies from individual to individual. You can’t take one or two days, somebody needs more than that. But I feel if they require it they should get it.”

When asked if his college students demand this policy, he said, “Students are already having an option of 75% attendance. So the minimum attendance is imposed by the Mumbai University, therefore if a student is unwell, it automatically falls under this.”

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