New Delhi: Three contractual female staff of Doordarshan Television Network on Friday has alleged that they were sexually harassed by their superiors when they were trying for the renewal of their contract.
Doordarshan sources have responded to the allegations and said that the organization has acted with immediate effect into the matter and will gather more information regarding this.
The three victims have held a press conference on Friday and claimed that they were harassed on the pretext of renewal of their contracts. One of the complaints was filed in 2015.
One of the victims alleged, “I was threatened and abused when I approached the internal committee dealing with sexual harassment complaints. The committee was fair and gave its recommendations but they were paid no heed by the authorities.”
She added that she filed the complaint against the accused in 2015.
After her complain, the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) ordered his suspension but it was not followed by the DD authorities, she further added.
Among the three complainants, one worked with DD Bhopal center, other two have worked at Delhi Doordarshan Bhawan. Two of the victims came with their face covered.
Only two out of the three spoke at the press conference, said that they all are contractual employees and didn’t discuss the details of the harassment incidents.
One of the women claimed that she had not been paid her salary for eight months ever since she filed the complaint to the ICC.
One of the victims told reporters that she had filed the complaint with the ICC in March 2018. There was no action against the person she had filed the complaint against.
She alleged that Instead, she was transferred and was not allowed to join her new assignment.
A lawyer Varuna Bhandari who is assisting these victims said that seven other female employees from DD have also approached her and complained of sexual harassment at their workplace.
The lawyer Bhandari speaking at the press conference said, “In nine out of ten cases, the ICC did not pay attention to the sexual harassment complaints.”
Bhandari further added, “Transfer of such sexual predators seems to be the norm at the Doordarshan offices and is considered punishment enough. There seems no need to actually punish these offenders.”
The lawyer Bhandari demanded that an awareness programme needs to be started at the organisations as “presently there is nothing”.
All the three victims demanded that the ICC should “diligently look into the sexual harassment complaints at the workplace”.
One of the three victims claimed that there had been no workshop or training session so far organized by the public body for creating awareness in this regard.
As per sources in DD, all the DD centers across India, have ICC set up to deal with such complaints.