Madras HC Mandates Sanitary Napkins At All NEET Centres

Madras HC Mandates Sanitary Napkins At All NEET Centres

The court directed NTA to ensure that sanitary napkins are made available so that any unprepared girl can use them. Additionally, the court also ordered NTA to specify in the guidelines that the candidates are not prohibited from wearing sanitary napkins while taking the exam, as per media reports.

Sunidhi VijayUpdated: Friday, May 03, 2024, 07:17 PM IST
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The Madras High Court recently ordered the National Testing Agency (NTA) to provide adequate toilet and sanitary facilities in all the National Eligibility cum Entrance Tests (NEET) centres. The court directed NTA to ensure that sanitary napkins are made available so that any unprepared girl can use them. Additionally, the court also ordered NTA to specify in the guidelines that the candidates are not prohibited from wearing sanitary napkins while taking the exam, as per media reports.

The Madurai Bench in its order said, as per media reports, “Every examination centre must have suitable toilet facilities with water amenities. They must keep a minimum number of sanitary products near the toilets so that any girl who has come unprepared may use them. The girl candidates must be allowed the use of restrooms when required.”

The Madras High Court’s order has been hailed by NEET aspirants who are scheduled to appear this year, with many believing that is a step in the right direction.

“I'm preparing to take NEET this year and was always concerned about my menstrual cycle because my peers informed me that we wouldn't be permitted to bring sanitary napkins into the exam centre. However, this judgement has offered relief for me,” said 19-year-old Disha Vijayvargiya. 

Another student, 21-year-old Dolly Gupta, said that this decision will take away the burden from a lot of students. Gupta said, “One of my friends who sat with me for the exam last year had stains on her clothes because she couldn't use the loo to change her sanitary pad. This is definitely a welcome move.” She further added that earlier female candidates used to layer sanitary napkins during the exam hours to avoid staining themselves. 

Indira Vijayvargiya, the mother of a NEET aspirant, believes that this should have been implemented a long ago. “These are basic requirements that should be provided to the girl candidates, otherwise it is difficult for the menstruating girl to sit in the exam hall for such a long duration,” Vijayvargiya said.

However, an aspirant also raised concerns about unfair means that can be used during washroom time. Ashwini Sharma, a 20-year-old NEET aspirant said, “I hope they will do proper checking while allowing a student to use the washroom, or will at least have some measures in place to avoid unfair means being used during the exam.”

The high court, in its order, has also mentioned that NTA should do a proper inspection of the toilet beforehand to avoid frisking for the second time. 

The order was given while the Madras High Court was hearing a petition filed by a 19-year-old woman who wanted to use adult diapers and change them as per requirement during the examination hours because of a medical emergency. 

NEET exam is scheduled to be held on May 5 across India. 

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