The project on “Strengthening the access of women in the unorganised sector to their right to protection from sexual harassment in the workplace” examined whether the provisions in the SHW Act for women in the unorganized sector are properly implemented and if women know about these rights and if there is effective advocacy to address gaps. Focus Group Discussions and RTI was filed to get the relevant information. It was made to make aware the LCC members about their duties in form of a handbook, awareness programs were conducted to select the justice workers and they were accordingly trained on the SHW Act so that they can further make the primary stakeholders (unorganized sector women) at large. The justice workers were extremely benefitted from the trainings and have expressed their desire for more elaborate trainings on the law of sexual harassment at workplace.
The study is an evidence based advocacy tool to reach duty bearers, policy makers, donors and CSOs to build systems and practices to make the working lives of women in the unorganized sector safe and free from sexual harassment. It was also aimed at creating justice workers by imparting training to them on the laws relating to women with major focus on sexual harassment at workplace act so that they can further spread awareness on the law to the unorganised sector women at large.
SUCCESSFUL CASE INTERVENTION UNDER THE PROJECT
Hari Sahoo hailed from Baunsipada village of Nayagarh district and was residing in a slum at Niladri Vihar, Chadrasekharpur,Bhubaneswar. He has a wife and three children, two daughters and one son. Both husband and wife were daily laborers. Sujata Sahoo was their eldest daughter of 17 years old who remained at home after class-VIII. She was taking care of the younger ones when parents were out for work. She had a mobile andbeing a teenager was playful.
Mr. Sanjaya Moharana was their neighbor who was a carpenter. His son Rabindra Moharana aged about 22 years old was helping him in his carpentry work. Being a neighbor, Sujata considered Rabindra as her brother and used to call him Bhai. They used to have chatting in the phone. Occasionally, the girl was going to Moharana family but she was not aware of the lustful intention of that boy whom she addressed Bhai.
One day, when Sujata’s parents were out for work and also in the absence of his parents
Rabindra called Sujata to his house. He asked her to serve food for him as his mother was out. In the in the meantime, he closed the door and forcefully sexually abused Sujata. After the incident, victim’s parents approached Bijaylaxmi Karo, family counselor cum Para Legal Volunteer for help and she guided them to file FIR in Mohila Thana in unit-, BBSR. On receipt of the complaint, police took immediate action, arrested the culprit and sent the girl for medical examination. The accused was sent to jail but was released after 17 days.
In the case the victim got compensation of Rs. 50,000/ through DLSA, Bhubaneswar after due procedures from the concerned department. Now the victim and her family shifted their residence to unknown slum in Bhubaneswar for security reason.