Suicide by Range Forest Officer Dipali Chavan, alleging sexual harassment by senior officer, has again brought up the issue of ‘Sexual Harassment of women at work place’. The issue is being discussed for the last several years. Several laws, rules, committees have been suggested to prevent it and also to report the incidents promptly. However, it appears that they remained confined to papers only.
Forest officer Chavan’s suicide, after following all the legal methods of lodging complaints with senior officers, has again opened the issue for discussion. Such other incidents are also being reported through the media.
All the work places, government and private, educational institutions are required to constitute a committee to look after such complaints. Many of these offices have either not formed the committees or it is on the papers only.
Women have proved their capabilities in almost all the fields. Forest Department, otherwise was a male-dominated department. Chavan, for her bravery and smarty action was named Lady Singham by the local people. Chavan was posted in Gugamal Range in Melghat of Amravati district.
With her suicide following harassment, issues relating to nexus between forest officials and forest mafia is likely to come to the fore.
Chavan’s suicide may be one of the very few which came to light. A large number of such cases are likely to come forward. However, honest women workers like Dipali Chavan, should not be required to take such extreme step. Strict monitoring of the committees to prevent harassment of women at work place is required. Those in the committee and those at the helm of affairs in all the establishments, will have to take the issue seriously.