Protests, almost 24 by 7, in Jantar Mantar for 11 days and counting; knocking on the door of the Supreme Court to get FIRs filed; repeated appeals to fellow sportspersons to lend their weight to their complaints of sexual harassment even as the prime accused digs his heels in.
On paper, and, by law, this didn’t have to happen. Indeed, the Government’s MC Mary Kom-headed panel that looked into allegations of sexual harassment by some of the nation’s top wrestlers against Wrestling Federation of India chief BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, red-flagged this as a “major finding”: there was no Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), as mandated by the 2013 Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) Act.
The wrestling body isn’t the only one violating the law.
As many as 16 of the 30 national sports federations — of disciplines in which India has participated in the 2018 Asian Games, Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and last year’s Commonwealth Games — do not meet this mandatory compliance, an investigation by The Indian Express has revealed. And this, when there has been a record uptick in women’s participation in sports. Their number in the Khelo India Games, an index of this growing trend, showed a 161 per cent increase from 2018 to 2020. (READ MORE)