BIS #6215 Don Bosco Chinchwad au fait with POCSO & POSH

by Lalita & Father Vivian deSouza for BISMumbai

On 12 November 2020, the Social Service Department of the DBCVPK [Don Bosco Chinchwad Vyavasayik Prashikshan Kendra] invited Advocate Preeti Sathe practicing consultant for the past 18 years, to throw light on the 2013 POSH [Prevention of Sexual Harassment] of women at the work-place and the 2012 POCSO [Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses] Acts. Purva Sabane introduced the speaker and Father Vivian presented a bouquet.

Sathe said, “we need to protect our children and prevent sexual abuses against them. That is why this POCSO enactment has created increasing awareness among civil society groups, with unprecedented momentum and issues that were previously brushed under the carpet are now being openly addressed.” Speaking about the POSH Act, Sathe clarified, “the Supreme Court has made it mandatory for each and every organization/institution to take sufficient measures for the protection, prohibition and prevention of sexual harassment of women at the workplace.” POSH is defined as: “Sexual Harassment, which includes unwelcome sexually tinted behavior, whether directly or by implication through physical contact and advances, demand or request for sexual favors, making sexually colored remarks, showing pornography or any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.”

Sathe further urged the staff to express their experiences in a free/frank manner, and explained the ideas & concept governing gender inequality and harassment of women. She also highlighted gender gaps in education, employment and health sector. These Acts, POSH and POCSO are mandatory for all institutions to take effective steps towards the issue of sexual harassment/abuse. Also each institute is expected to constitute an internal committee for complaint-redressal.

The participants raised several questions and doubts that were clarified with the pertinent legal measures. DBCVPK Principal Mayur Deshmukh wound up proceedings with a ‘vote of thanks’.