Even as we are continuing our interaction series on compulsion, under law, for every work place to have sexual harassment redressal committee, the news of sexual harassment of additional district and session’s judge of Gwalior by none other than a High Court judge has shocked us no end. This incident has raised serious question mark on the security of common women being harassed at their work place. More shocking is the fact the additional judge who became victim of sexual harassment was herself heading Gwalior District Vishaka Committee against sexual harassment. Under such a set of situations, it becomes imperative for us to listen to the wake-up call before it gets too late to contain the damage.
In the third part of our series, we have brought on our discussion panel Nagpur Rural Superintendent of Police IPS Officer Dr Arti Singh. Arti Singh is the chairperson of the internal Complaint Committee of Nagpur District Rural police. Singh talked on the issue and told the various aspects of it.
‘I don’t tolerate such cheap Acts’
Being a woman I cannot tolerate such behavior from the male employees and will take strict action against the person who will be involved in such cases. Being the chairperson of the Internal Complaint Committee I have done few things for women police in my jurisdiction so that they will be vocal to me or the committee for such issues. If any women police employee of my department is facing such problem, she can send me a complaint letter without writing her name. She can also send someone else to the committee on her behalf to put her case and her problem, said Singh. She said, “We have complaint letter box where one can drop the letter as anonymous and we will immediate probe the matter.
According to SP Arti Singh, most of the women employees do not come forward to lodge sexual harassment complaint because they feel that they will face more humiliation after people will come to know that she is a sexual harassment victim. There is a fear of getting defamed by the other co-workers and the society. There is an urgent need to do something to remove that fear from the mind of women, believes Singh.
People point of view towards women complainant
There is only one angle of the people in which they look towards the women who come forward to lodge sexual Harassment complaint. People don’t look for the fault of the person against whom the lady is giving the complaint but they start measuring the women’s character. People should focus on the person who is harassing the women rather than focusing the women who is being harassed.
Male mentality needs to be changed
The main reason behind this entire incident is the mentality of the society especially the male mentality and attitude towards the woman needs to be changed so that the women will also be treated as human and not as an object for pleasure. The change is required at the ground level, feels SP Singh. If we are looking for long term solutions we need to build an appropriate ground for this. Family members, friends and society should extend support to the women who are caught in such a situation
Standing by the women police
We have an Internal Complaint Committee in my department. I am the chairperson of the committee as the higher ranked woman should be the head of the Committee. There are total six members in the committee which includes four members from the department and two members from different NGOs, she informed.
Be bold, don’t compromise injustice
Concluding her talk SP Arti Singh appealed the women to be bold and strong. “Women should not compromise with injustice. If the women will keep tolerating the injustice it will go on and never stop therefore women should oppose it loudly” said SP Singh.
– By Puja Singh