Sexual harassment is a universal problem. Taking note of the issue, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has laid out some guidelines in order to protect girl athletes from sexual harassment.

SAI held a workshop on this on Saturday (11th August). Director-general Neelam Kapur stated that the main aim behind taking this step is to “educate the children through this awareness programme. We want to sensitise the atmosphere and make them feel safe and comfortable during camps”

Neelam Kapur shares that there are a lot of minor trainees. With this workshop, trainees would be guided about things which are acceptable and unacceptable. She said, “We have a lot of trainees who are minors who come in direct contact with coaches. We have tried telling them things which are acceptable and unacceptable. They should be aware. We have conveyed to the coaches that any violation will be dealt with strictly under the POCSO (Protection of Children against Sexual Offences) Act. As we are dealing with minor children — POCSO applies to them.”

In June, SAI dismissed a coach from Tamil Nadu. The coach was indicted for sexually harassing junior campers. The authority also removed an employee based at the Karni Singh Shooting Ranges. The employee was accused of indulging in a corrupt practice (trying to sell a gun illegally).

“There is zero tolerance against corruption and sexual harassment of children of either sex,” said Kapur

“We have to give our young athletes a safe environment to pursue their dreams and also assure their parents that the kids would be looked after well at camps and competitions,” said Kapur.

The three-hour workshop was conducted for clearing doubts of the trainees. It aimed to give trainees a better understanding of the subject and also boost their confidence. Forthcoming workshops will be held in local languages.

“We are going to provide redressal facilities so that the athletes don’t fear when reporting any incident. They should not hesitate at any stage.”

The SAI also plans to launch a call-centre which would be functional in all languages. It will be outsourced to competent agencies for the benefit of the young athletes. “We will reach out to them to gain feedback on training, food, coaches’ behaviour. It will be a third-party verification of the system so that we get unbiased reports. We have asked the BECIL (Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited) to help us,” said Kapur.

Also Read: We Want Sports Medals, But Do We Have Facilities, Infra?

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Deepali Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV

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