The policy against sexual harassment

(Adopted in September 2018)

The practice room is committed to the prevention, prohibition and redressal of sexual harassment. This policy is applicable to all teachers, assistant teachers, volunteers, students, contractual workers, staff, guests and visitors, of all genders.

We voluntarily follow the provisions of ‘The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013’, of the Government of India, in dealing with incidents of sexual harassment.

As per the guidelines of the Act, we have set-up an ‘Internal Complaints Committee (ICC)’ comprising student-members, instructors, and an external advisor. The ICC has a revolving membership, and the list of current members are displayed in our premises. Anyone, of any gender, can get in touch with the ICC to report misconduct, by an instructor, asst. instructor or another student. As per the POSH law, such complaint needs to be made to the ICC within a period of 3 months from the date of occurrence.

Our external advisor is Enfold India. Enfold works across India, to address issues on gender and sexuality, through education, training, research, advocacy, and tangible support – in schools, communities, and institutions.

In addition to the ICC, the following measures have been put in place in order to:

Inform, give choice, and give confidence to students, so that situations of unease can freely surface, and be dealt with.

Inform, train and equip instructors, so that even unintentionally, they do not breach personal boundaries of students.

Measures to inform, to give choice and to give confidence to students:

1. All efforts are made to inform incoming students that this instructional tradition involves physical adjustment.

o This is discussed in the pre-joining interaction sessions, where one or two current students are also invited to share their experience, and answer queries from the audience directly (implemented from 2016).

during this interaction sessions, we also play video recording of actual classes taught by our main teachers (implemented from January 2019).

o Observing a live class is a compulsory pre-requisite to confirm enrolement (implemented from 2016).

2. Students have the option of sending us a written communication in case they do not want to be adjusted physically, or do not want to be called upon to demonstrate. No explanation is to be sought from the student, and the information is to be kept confidential. Students are explicitly made aware of this option in the ‘DISCLAIMER’ that they sign (implemented from March 2019)

3. ‘Gender and Touch’ sensitisation sessions are organised for all students periodically (implemented from September 2018).

4. The classroom area is under cctv surveillance. The recordings are maintained for a period of three months, and then deleted. Students are explicitly made aware of this provision in the ‘DISCLAIMER’ that they sign (implemented from April 2019).

Measures to inform and train instructors:

1. A detailed training session on “Gender and Touch” is now mandatory for the instructors (implemented from September 2018).

2. We live in a gendered society, and a male teacher is expected to be especially sensitive, generally when interacting with students of other genders, and particularly while making physical adjustments. Male instructors have observers in the class for the first few months when they start instructing independently (implemented from March 2019)