Official reports have revealed that there have been 45 cases of sexual harassment across Sports Authority of India (SAI) institutes across the country. These cases have been filed in the last 10 years and to this day remain largely unresolved. Reacting to these reports, Kiren Rijju, Sports Minister, has asked for the disposal of all such pending cases with the Sports Authority of India.

Key Takeaways:

  • Kiren Rijju intervenes and weighs for quicker action at pending sexual harassment cases at the Sports Authority of India.
  • Accused were left off easily, some even continue while they are being investigated.
  • All the remaining cases are to be resolved within four weeks.
  • Lack of sensitivity and coaches has aggravated the issue.

Rijju is emphasising on the need for zero tolerance measures to combat such unfortunate misconducts. It was said that the pending cases have to be resolved within four weeks.

“There is zero tolerance for sexual harassment on SAI campuses. The inquiries that are underway will be speeded up. I have directed that all pending cases will be disposed within the next four weeks,” Rijiju told Indian Express

The menace was lousily treated as it was revealed that the accused were let go with lenient punishments. Usually, these punishments meant a tiny cut in their salaries or pensions. Moreover, several reports have not been given proper justice as they have been pending for years. Hence, either justice has been delayed or it has been denied.

29 out of the 45 aforementioned cases were filed against misconduct by the coaches. Unfortunately, when teachers and idols become predators, trust in such institutions is lost. The SAI responded by saying that penalties have been imposed on 14 accused who have been found guilty. Also, the committee set up is still investigating 15 cases.

Comments from officials at SAI

Furthermore, the sports authority claimed that it has continuously made efforts to spread awareness about sexual harassment through demonstrations for the enrolees in different languages. Also, it was said that efforts were made to ensure that players come forward and register any complaints whatsoever.

Jiji Thomson, former director journal at SAI, said that many times players refrain from complaining or withdraw their statements in fears of any adverse impacts on their careers. Such situations, he says, have made tracking of the cases and statistics tricky.

“Most of these girls come from humble backgrounds. So they are persuaded or pressurised to change their statement or take back their complaints,” Thomson said.

The complaints registered range from physical abuse to molestation. Also, players from sports like boxing, wrestling, athletics and weight lifting have faced the menace the most. In some cases, the investigations have been continuing as the accused continue to train younger sportspersons.

Examples of such cases

On July 14, five girls from a northeastern state filed a case of molestation against their coach. Allegedly, the coach touched them inappropriately while taking “body measurements”. Furthermore, an accused at the Lakshmibai Institute of Physical Education continues his work until this date in spite of being reported multiple times. Cases have been flowing in from SAI centres of New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Bhopal, Kashipur, Eluru, Patiala and Daman and Diu. The real situation on the ground is mostly worse than these statistics.

There is a clear lack of sensitivity towards these issues. Moreover, the lack of female coaches makes the situation worse. Unfortunately, a lack of coaches has often meant that a replacement is hard to find after the accused is struck off. The weighing in of the sports minister is bound to speed up the process of giving an already delayed justice.

Read Also- SAI Takes Steps To Prevent Girl Athletes’ Harassment

Image credit: India TV

Vipashyana Dubey is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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