– Is much being done to ensure their safety and professional working environment?
Nagpur :- Isn’t it ironical to see that A country Like India Which is abundant with rich heritage and culture, Where women are termed as Goddess Durga, Saraswati and Laxmi and its considered that daughters are the divine blessings of the God who brings with her prosperity and good culture in the entire family, Women are the Laxmi and Durga in a family and Mother is considered to have the heaven under her feet are being treated shabbily in almost all aspects, whether it be the home front or a professional front.
We despite preaching women empowerment, equal status, respect and dignity for the women folk, most blatantly practice almost the complete opposite of it. Women professionals are the most exploited work force in India and harping about Women Empowerment, Equal Opportunity, Equal Status, Respect and dignity are mere words and Political Jumla. Women are badly exploited, mistreated, mentally and Physically harassed and many of the time deliberately not included in projects only because they are women. Hypocrisy is at its Epitome in India and, if you dare to speak the truth, then I am supremely confident that you too would agree. Be it the Parliament, a Pub or be it the general Public, it’s a common scene everywhere.
Ever noticed that how Women are differentiated and treated differently in comparison to men ???
A women laborer earns lesser wages than a Male laborer, despite both have to do the same work, Female actress earns less than a male Actor, though both have a lead role, Some Corporates even pay a lower salary to women in comparison to what they pay to a male for the same job. The examples are numerous. But there is only one such thing where a woman gets more than her share in comparison to Men and that is the disrespect and harming her dignity, not being treated equally and not being paid the same as male and much more but not limited to the above.
And the biggest and still an unaddressed issue that prevails widely in mostly all work places despite all that falsified claims of the Govt and private organizations and the fake propaganda, is the Sexual Harassment of female employee at work place. Women go thru traumatic phase at the place of their employment where they are molested in more than one way or the other and undue advantage is taken by their superiors who are aware of the “need for a job” of a female employee.
Ironically such matters when raised are promptly put under the carpet and the entire issue gets covered up. A whistle blower who could either be the victim herself or any other responsible co -worker or citizen that dares to raise such issues, gets only one reaction from the management that is supposed to address such sensitive issues….. gets sacked /loses his /her employment. Not only this the victim is even threatened in very subtle yet threatening tone that she might not even get future job opportunities if she didn’t hush up.
We are aware of such cases that happened in One of a EdTech Company, another one that happened at a prestigious teaching Institution, yet another one case was at A prominent coaching institute, A prominent Media House and many more. But all the victims got everything but justice and fair probe. Additionally, as an insult to an injury the victims also ended up losing their jobs too.
The HR and Management in order to protect the image and reputation of the company will go to any extent to hush up such issues when reported by the victim, and if still the victim refuses to back up then they fabricate the entire issue with the help of local body and the judiciary and prove the victim having a loose character. We have witnessed many such cases where even the Police was instrumental in hushing up such matters. No office or organization is spotlessly clean (despite their baseless boasting) when it comes to protecting the rights of women work force, but the irony is that our judiciary states that “Not guilty until proven” and so far, there a just few instances where the guilty was apprehended and tried in all other cases the guilty walks free.
Another reason that instead of this grave issue being curbed its getting even bigger is the Victims hesitation to blow the whistle. Maybe because of the fear of losing the job, or not being confident about the police department or the judicial system or maybe observations that such issues rarely came into light and got justice and the victim ever got benefited by taking such a daring step of Naming the Demon in their work place. We leave this question to be answered by the readers.
Do we actually practice what we propagate ?
Is it a mistake on the woman’s part for not raising such an issue when they are victimized ?
is that Men are actually being hypocritic when they talk about equal rights for Women ?
LETTER TO PMO
My name is PSV,I am 57. I joined The PRESS as a trainee Sub-Editor in April 1990
after clearing written test and interview.
Managing Editor while his son was then the
General Manager. Presently, he is the Managing Director of PRESS
Soon after I joined, the Editor VP asked me to leave my work and accompany him
outside for a ‘coffee,’ a ruse for engaging in filthy sex talk with women staffers. This was despite the
fact that I was four months pregnant ! My husband was in the same shift. My husband and I quietly
continued our work with bowed heads. The Editor, to this day, continues to harass me over this
move. I apprised RP of the ongoings. No action was visible on the ground.
Violation of basic rules: The Editor has superannuated 15 years ago. Yet, BP has
adamantly refused to find a suitable person for the job and VP continues to be the Editor
at 75 years of age! Needless to say, he ill-treats the staff with impunity and openly philanders with women staffers.
ILL treatment of women staffers in night shifts
Given his weakness for women, the Editor has brazenly gone ahead and employed a substantial number of women staffers.They are coerced into
doing night shifts. The Editor offers to drop them home in his car when they get late at work and
embraces and gropes them in his car. The women staffers have been forced to put up with this
behaviour as the Management has adamantly refused heed to complaints about him.
Misbehaviour by Editor in full public view
Even in the morning shift, the Editor has been known to approach women staffers’ desks and grope and touch them inappropriately. When asked why they
put up with the shoddy behaviour, they say that this is the price one pays for working in PRESS.
Absence of HR Department and Women’s Cell
Though PRESS employs a large number of women staffers, no effort has ever been made to put in place a mechanism to redress their grievances.
There is neither a H.R. Department nor a Women’s Cell as stipulated by rules. In case of work place related grievances, I have been left with no alternative but to approach the Managing Director ,He has repeatedly, adamantly refused to accept that there is trouble brewing in the set up.
Non-implementation of recommendations of Wage Board
Though Majithia Wage Board notified in 2011 had suggested a large number of welcome changes in the wage structure of newspaper
employees, the same have been brazenly flouted by RP. The employees were paid
arrears and given a raise five years ago. Though I am one of the senior most employees at the
Maindesk, the pay hike was nominal. The Management has not effected a single pay hike after this
in total contravention of Wage Board recommendations. The press workers union has filed a case
against the management over non-payment of wage hikes.
Persistent denial of leave
Though the organization offers 15 casual leaves, 10 medical leaves and 30
days of Earned leave, availing of the same has been a permanent problem for me. The Establishment
Section is always evasive about the leave available for me and has persistently denied the same.
I had availed of leave from January 24 to 28. My salary for the period was cut. I was told that I simply
did not have the necessary leave. When I approached RP, he berated me making
an issue of a ‘2-day’ pay cut. He insisted that the organization did not indulge in ‘such activities.’
Denial of salary during cancer treatment
In September 2021, I was diagnosed as suffering from Grade III breast cancer. I had availed of leave to undergo Breast Reconstruction Surgery. The Surgery was performed on October 22, 2021. After recovery, National Institute of Cancer, Jamtha, prescribed
8 rounds of Chemotherapy to be undertaken at an interval of 15 days each. This was to be followed
by 20 cycles of Radiation. As the treatment would entail several months of leave, I approached
RP for the same. He cleared leave only after making me sign an application that I will not be entitled to my salary during the period of treatment. My last Radiation cycle was performed on May 4, 2022. With the consent of doctors, I joined office on May 15, 2022, as it became very difficult to manage household and medical expenses in absence of salary.
Acute harassment after my husband’s demise
My husband SDV working then as a Deputy Editor with PRESS, passed away in a road mishap on July 15, 2002. SD, a
former employee, was recruited in his position. Along with the Editor, SD made my life a hell. VP continually derided me in office. He issued a slew of meaningless memos to intimidate me. Though the Management allowed me to operate in morning shifts in view of the fact that my children very young and there was nobody to look after them at home,SD tried to coerce me come in night shifts. When I refused, he would not let me go home till 9 pm ! Even
though I would submit my pages well within the deadline, he would force me to complete new
comers’ pages till 9 pm. Along with the mindless corrections on my pages, SD would
return my pages with the remark ‘Avoid widows’! My VP would laugh derisively at the daily
spectacle. Left with no choice, I approached RP and apprised him of my daily
travails. I pleaded with him to atleast change my section as the daily torment was too much for me.
He listened to me expressionlessly and sure enough, did nothing. This daily torture went on for 14years till SD retired in 2017!
Acute workplace harassment by the Editor
Comppletely exasperated by the daily harassment, I submitted a written complaint to the Labour Court . I also filed a complaint against the Editor at
NEAREST Police station. However, the police shamelessly colluded with the Management and
scuttled the case. I was berated by RP for engaging in activities that would
undermine the ‘prestige’ of the organization. I was forced to withdraw my complaint at the Labour
Court. No visible action has been taken against the offending Editor who continues to ill treat staff.
VP is particularly fond of addressing staff meetings lasting over two hours during which
he not only heaps the filthiest possible abuse on staffers, he abuses our parents too ! The incensed
staff apprised RP of the ongoings. What transpired between the two is not known.
The menace of such senseless meetings continues unchecked !
Difficulty in obtaining in legal counsel in town
Tormented by the persistent workplace harassment,I have tried to approach several Labour lawyers in Nagpur. They have simply backed out of helping me as RP is known to brazenly stifle any dissent by staffers in his numerous
organisations. When they sought legal help to avail of better payscales,RP has
subverted the course of justice using his financial resources and his father’s political clout.
Sir, what I have elaborated upon is just the tip of the iceberg. What goes on here is much worse. I sincerely hope justice is done to the long suffering staff of PRESS. On my part, I promise to render fullest possible co-operation if a probe is undertaken by the authorities concerned.