A video showing school girls flinging off their dupattas is being widely circulated with a claim that reads ‘Girls studying in a school for tribals (indigenous people) in Tamil Nadu are throwing away their dupatta (scarves) in protest against school uniforms that they think North Indian and patriarchal.’ Let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Visuals showing girl students at a school in Tamil Nadu throwing their dupattas as protest against the patriarchal/North Indian school uniform.
Fact: This incident took place at the government residential school in Tamil Nadu’s Kallakurichi. These girls in Tamil Nadu threw their dupattas welcoming a guest, Geeta Ilangovan, an author, who was supposed to address them. Multiple news agencies reported the incident. Speaking to Quint, Ilangovan said ‘the girls told her that they didn’t like to wear dupattas but were forced to’. However, neither the author nor the media reports claimed that students did so, as protest against the North Indian style. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
The visuals in the viral video indeed show girl students flinging off their dupattas, however, they did not do this as part of a protest, but as a welcome gesture, for a guest.
Google search with relevant keywords led us to India Today news article that reported the same visuals. As per this article, female students in a government residential school in Tamil Nadu’s Kallakurichi welcomed author Geeta Ilangovan by throwing their dupattas in the air.
‘Author Geetha Ilangovan’s articles published under the name ‘Her Stories’ were translated into Tamil and given the name ‘Dupatta Podung Thozhi’ (wear your dupatta friend). It spoke about how women were told to behave and how they were enslaved’, the article added.
Further search yielded few more news articles which reported the incident (here & here). As per these articles Geeta Ilangovan, was scheduled to interact with these students at the camp focused on eradicating child marriages.
Geeta Ilangovan, shared the same video on her Instagram account, expressing joy over the reception.
According to a Quint report, Ilangovan said ‘the girls told her that they didn’t like to wear dupattas but were forced to.’ Though, no where she mentioned that the girls did so to express displeasure to North India style, as claimed in the viral post.
Thus, it is clearly evident from these pieces of evidence that the girls threw off their dupattas as a gesture of welcome and not as a sign of protest.
To sum up, these school girls did not fling off their dupattas as a sign of protest.