The Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council has taken a significant measure to combat sexual harassment of women in the workplace by revising its complaint committee.
In an order issued by the Secretary of the J&K Sports Council, Nuzhat Gul, Senior Judo Coach Ritika Slathia has been appointed as a new member of the committee, replacing Veena Chib, who retired in 2020.
The establishment of local complaint committees to address complaints regarding sexual harassment at work was initiated by the Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council in April 2019. At that time, the Secretary, Dr Naseem Javed Chowdhary, formed a 10-member committee for both the Jammu and Kashmir Divisions.
The purpose of the panel was to receive and handle complaints under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act of 2013.
District-level complaint committees were formed in both divisions to address sexual harassment cases at the workplace. An order issued in 2019 emphasized that these committees would promptly handle and report any received complaints, forwarding them to the Sports Council Secretariat within one week. The Secretariat would then escalate the matter to the General Administration Department, Civil Secretariat.
The committee for the Jammu Division consists of Chief Coach Krupali Singh as the chairperson, Rachna Jamwal as the member secretary, and Arshi Nad and Vinaya Sharma as members. The Kashmir Division committee includes Nuzhat Ara as the chairperson, Bilqis Mir as the member secretary, and Nusrat Gazala, Rafiqa Banu, and Ruksana Akhter as members.
The reinstatement of this committee has been widely welcomed, particularly by female athletes, as it enables timely action against harassment faced by women within the department or during sporting events.(KNS).