Updated on: Tuesday, November 23, 2021, 11:47 AM IST

FPJ-ED: Kerala school introduces unisex uniforms; here's what Mumbai thinks of it


Valayanchirangara Government Lower Primary School of Ernakulum, Kerala took a huge step forward towards gender neutrality by introducing unisex uniforms in the school. All the students of the school will wear shirts and 3/4th shorts irrespective of gender.

But, what if this came into effect in Mumbai?

The principal of Mahapragya Public School, Mumbai, Mrs. Lakshmi Madhuri said, “Uniforms in itself are something that promotes equality and talking about unisex uniforms, yes, it definitely is a great step towards gender equality. But just equalizing uniform is not important. For us, a child’s comfort is more important. Children have to be in school for long hours, so we’d first look upon for their comfort.”

When asked if she would be comfortable in trousers rather than skirts if someday her school decides to equalize the uniforms, Simantini Bulbule, a student of Omkar English school said, “I’d be more comfortable in trousers rather than a skirt. Skirts are a little uncomfortable for me, so I would be happy if our school allows us trousers.”

“Just equalizing the uniform doesn’t bring gender equality. Anyhow, girls and boys are treated differently. May it be parading in the front row during March Pass or may it be some work like shifting furniture during exams, boys are considered first. If that changes, then we can call it to gender equality,” Simantini added citing a strong point.

According to Shruti Verma of Omkar English School, most of the girls of her school including her would support this initiative and accept wearing trousers. Trousers feel more comfortable to her than skirts.

Janvi Shah of Tender Care Home School shared a different point of view. “For me, skirts are better than trousers. I can run faster in a skirt than in trousers. Skirts are comfortable in every way. Trousers might feel tight while sitting but skirts don’t.”

Contradicting her daughter’s opinion, Rashmin Shah, mother of Janvi Shah said. “I think trousers would be better as uniforms because sometimes young girls cannot handle skirts well while running, sitting or doing any physical activity. Even if they’re aware, they need to be very cautious while doing all these activities. Sometimes, skirts lower the confidence of the games while performing sports.”

Jahanvee Prajapati, 2018 school passed out says, “If this initiative had taken into consideration in our times, it would have been great. Sports would have become easier for us girls. Skirts somehow are uncomfortable but trousers would have been great.”

Muskan Paraswani, 2014 passed out said, “I would have loved if uniforms had been unisex during my school time. Sometimes there were times when I would feel uncomfortable in skirts during contemporary dance classes or playing basketball, though we would wear shorts underneath.”

“We all grow up with the mindset that this is how girls are to be dressed up, all cute with skirts and ponytails. This initiative of unisex uniform gives a very clear mindset that both the kids are equal and that’s the perfect age to learn gender equality,” Muskan added.

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Published on: Monday, November 22, 2021, 08:06 PM IST