In today’s time when hijab has become an issue in so many parts of the world including India, I would like to share my Hijab story and how me and my friends came up with probably the first ever OT hijab in India.Carrying a hijab in public and professional places has always been a challenge for a woman.One such aspect of difficulty encountered by me or any other medical student/professional is to carry our hijabs in the OTs.
Operation theatres are a place where everything should be sterilized and nothing from the outside should be allowed. And I know and acknowledge the fact that hijabs are not sterilized.
But this makes the OT experience a mentally traumatic experience for a woman who strictly adheres to the principles of Hijab.
I still remember the time when I was taken out of the OT because of my hijab in my 2nd year MBBS.
From that day onwards I was constantly in search for something that will let me into the OT without taking off my Hijab.
Then Covid-19 happened, and I saw everyone in the hospital donning a hood. That was when my search finally got over.
I ordered some surgical hoods from a ‘hospital equipment supplier’ for my hijabi friends and myself and it worked wonderfully!!
We should always remember that there’s nothing that is impossible and where there’s a will there’s always a way!!
Alhamdulillah, till now our proffessors did not object to the hood, but I fear a day when they might find it inappropriate (even though there is no reason to find it inappropriate).
Till then I’ll keep carrying the hood over my hijab in the OTs, and then on some other day I’ll try autoclaving my cotton Hijabs.
One humble request that I would like to make to everyone (specially the medical/surgical teams in our country and everywhere else) is that – let’s try to make Hijab more inclusive, the head scarves as well as full sleeve scrubs so that we, hijabis don’t feel out of place.
To summarise, i want to say that, our Hijab is not a barrier for us at all. We are not oppressed due to it. We are not restricted due to it. We are not lagging behind due to it.
The Udupi student-hijab incident made me want to share my story.
I hope that they will soon be allowed to practice their right.
The story from Udupi girls is not just their story but a story of every Hijabi girl.