After the serious sexual harassment allegations against former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, which led to a series of protests, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, yesterday in the Rajya Sabha, announced the measures to curb the incidents of abuse and ensure women's safety.
This is a big move to address the issue of sexual assault in sports, especially Indian wrestling. The actions, which were disclosed in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, are intended to make the playing field safer for sportswomen and to stop any possible misbehaviour in the future.
Measures Announced By Union Minister
In a ground-breaking move, the inclusion of a female coach in any delegation that includes female athletes during national and international camps has been made compulsory. Recognising the significance of female representation in coaching jobs, this action aims to add another layer of safety and support for female athletes.
Additionally, at all national coaching camps and international exposures, a Compliance Officer will be hired. Their major duty will be to keep in constant contact with athletes and other staff members to ensure that the standards set forth in the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on the prevention of sexual harassment in sports are strictly followed.
Other measures include the creation of pre-camp sensitisation modules which will be delivered to all athletes, coaches, and support personnel before the start of any national coaching camp or international exposure. While special focus will be laid on increasing the number of female coaches and support staff in each NSF's national coaching camps.
With the implementation of these new procedures, the Union Sports Ministry hopes to serve as a model for other federations and sports, creating a stronger protective framework. These programs will be essential in developing a culture of respect and protection for all athletes as the country prepares to take part in a number of major athletic events, including the forthcoming Asian Games and the Olympic Games in 2024.
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