The MeToo movement has rocked Bollywood, politics, media and now even colleges as various institutions have been forced to take strict action against alleged sexual predators. One such big action has come to light at the Symbiosis Centre for Media & Communication in Pune, which has suspended two of their senior professors over allegations of sexual harassment.
After the MeToo movement started, many former students have shared their ordeals on social media, speaking about how they were sexually harassed by two professors. One of the professors also used to force obscene conversations upon girls. Former students allege that not only professors but some seniors have also misbehaved with them. Few girl students even state that they have complained to authorities but they never took action against the professors. In light of the flood of complaints against these professors after the movement, however, SCMC wrote an open letter to the students
An open letter to the SCMC family:
It is absolutely shattering but at the same time empowering to go through the recent developments across all social media platforms. Though disheartening to see so many similar stories from so many people across the country, it is also certain that the change has come. And finally, for good.
The CASH initiative started by SCMC is one small step in this direction. However, there is another useful tool that can be used in such scenarios- The Internal Complaints Committee.
The aim of the committee is to ensure a smooth process should students seek to complain, and make sure their voices are heard.
Students can simply approach the members of the committee: Madhavi Jain (2020), Disha Hans (2019) and Swati Trivedi (2018), any time of the day in these three years if they happen to, God forbid, face any sexual harassment.
All current students, we are here to guide and assist you, regarding the documentation and procedures, if you choose to file a case. And Provide support the entire time. If you need a platform to make your voice heard, then ICC can be that voice. If you wish to share your story so that others benefit from it, we'd help you do so, without your identity being revealed, if you choose to keep it so. Your safety and health are essential to us, which is why you could always confide in us, throughout this difficult journey.
Dear Alumni, we are indeed sorry, if you had to face something like this. But we promise you that if you reach out to the ICC, we will take steps and actions if need be. If you're comfortable in sharing your stories with us, to make sure people are aware of a potential pitfall, please reach out to us. We can do so without revealing your identity and ensuring your safety. You could possibly save a lot of people from falling prey to any untoward action.
In these trying times, we also call upon those who've seen someone suffer, yet have remained quiet. If you think you've seen something or heard something, PLEASE let us know, we can start a dialogue without ever mentioning your identity. Your one step can go a long long way in making someone’s life easier.
If there are any suggestions for improvements, you can always get back to us, as we constantly evolve to make ourselves more active and approachable. We will work with the institute management to create a safe place that we all deserve.
There are three members of this committee, and you can reach out to whoever you feel safer with. If there's a complaint about one of the members then you can tell the others, and the necessary actions will be taken.
-Internal Complaints Committee.
The action was taken after the Internal complaints committee of Symbiosis started an inquiry, during which both the professors were found to be guilty of misconduct & suspended.
Apart from these two professors, one director has also been sent on a leave over mental harassment charges after more than 100 students signed a petition in which they detailed how director Anupam Sidhartha had mentally harassed them, over which another inquiry was instituted.