Hindu girls regain rights

Westering High retracts bindi ban, allows teens to participate in school activities

TWO Port Elizabeth Hindu teenagers whose religious beliefs saw them being banned from school activities ranging from hockey to piano will be allowed to participate in all school activities – wearing their bindis.

Grade 11 Westering High School pupils Thireshni Chetty and Kaylin Govender, both 16, were relieved that the case they brought to the Equality Court last year could be settled out of court this week.

The resolution reached by legal representatives for both parties allows them to wear their bindi, have their names taken off the exclusion list and have an official statement made regarding their rights by the school during an assembly.

Early last year, the cousins were singled out in front of their classmates for wearing bindis (or pottu).

“We were banned from participating in extramural activities after refusing to remove the black dot, and I am very happy and excited that we can wear the dots freely now,” Kaylin, who was stripped of all her leadership roles and was not allowed to help out in the tuck shop any more, said.

-Eleanor Douglas-Meyers 

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