Bachelor, widower, virgin? Bihar hospital asks staff in marital declaration form

IGIMS form

A virgin is a girl who is unmarried, says Bihar's Health Minister Mangal Pandey in a weird comment that was meant to justify a government hospital form that requires doctors and other staff to declare their virginity or the number of times they have been married.

The IGIMS marital declaration form asked employees to specify whether they are a "bechelor/widower/virgin".

He, however, accepted that the word "virgin" could have been avoided. "I feel the word used should have been "unmarried" and not 'virgin".

Pummeled on social media, the minister has now ordered the health department to replace "virgin" with "unmarried" on the form. The format has imbibed the terms married, widower and virgin. We have simply adopted it in letter and spirit."Asked about the mandatory virginity declaration, he said, "In Devanagari (Hindi language), unmarried girls are referred to as "kunwari kanya". The form further asks its male employees to give details if they have more than one wife. But still this issue is being raised. "Since 1983, it is being used in every organisation of the country". "This is not a new form and has been in practice since 1984 when IGIMS was established", said Mandal.

The other coloumns in the form are also controversial. It has also reportedly asked why the question was introduced in the first place.

According to the Deputy Medical Superintendent, Dr Manish Manadal, the marriage declaration form is as old as the institute.

Mandal had added, "Virgin doesn't have anything to do with virginity but marital status". He said the Central Services Rules have a provision that when a person joins a job and dies soon after, there may be a "boyfriend or girlfriend who can turn up with claim to get the job on compensatory grounds". "If they change the word, we will change it too".

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