Odisha Govt issues Guidelines for Safety of Women Teachers

Bhubaneswar, Jan 17: In a significant move, the School and Mass Education department of the state on Friday issued guidelines for the safety of women teachers and employees at their workplace with immediate effect.

The initiative was taken after some allegations of sexual harassment at the workplace were reported in the state.

As per the guidelines, strong actions will be taken by the District Education Officers and District Project Coordinators if complaint relating to sexual harassment is lodged. Following the complaint, the preliminary inquiry will be conducted within 3 days and report will be submitted to the district collector.

A copy of the report will be sent to the grievance redressal officer of the School and Mass Education department and the collector will forward the matter to the local complaint committee for necessary recommendations.

The local complaint committee will submit its report within 30 days. In exceptional cases, the panel may forward the complaint to the police for the investigation.

The move came in wake of the complaints lodged by several women teachers alleging sexual harassment at workplace or by male colleagues. Taking a strong note in Itishree Pradhan case, the government has come up with such guidelines providing a good environment to women teachers at schools.

Itishree Pradhan, a woman teacher, who was allegedly sexually harassed and set on fire by some miscreants in Rayagada district following which she died in Oct 2013. The case had triggered a political storm and the question over women safety at workplace was raised by the statesmen.

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