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No Fear No Favour

Women’s safety?? What bullshit!!

This tech company has turned a blind eye towards women’s safety by NOT providing them cab services at night. Shocked? Well, this firm has been saying their women employees “Get Lost” in an indirect way. In an utter disregard for women safety, an IT firm in Bengaluru, refused to address the grievances of its women employees just to save up on its expenses, the firm is not providing cab services for those working the late night shifts.

This firm, it seems, is showing a very lackadaisical attitude. Even after the gruesome murder of Pratibha, a BPO employee way back on December 13, 2005, this firm is turning a blind eye towards the safety of women employees.
This wouldn’t have come to light if not for a women employee of this firm. Having joined this tech firm in the month of February, she was told that there would be no cab pick-up and drop facility for one month and thereafter things would be sorted out. But till today, the firm has not provided any cab facility at all!!

As a matter of fact, the firm has been dragging this issue for the past 2 years!! Initially, the female employees worked from 6.30pm to 3.30am, but when they complained that they cannot get transport that early in the morning, the timings were changed from 7.30pm to 4.30am. Whereas people after a long day at the office wait eagerly to go home and grab a shut-eye, some of them have to wait even after the working hours are over so that it is safe for them to leave. They wait for daylight to come and then their ordeal gets over.

She and the other employees received no help from the tech firm since the Vice President had clearly told them all that the firm is only responsible for them while they are working and not when they log out. Seems like nobody cares about them, especially their employers!!

The victim met the IT Minister Priyank Kharge to address her grievances who assured that action would definitely be taken against IDC. He even told that all companies are given a set of rules and regulations which they have to follow. If they don’t, then the strict action is taken against them.
So much for the accusations. Now the moment of truth comes- What does the firm has to say to this?

Firstly, they were refusing to respond to these allegations, but now they say that they have done nothing wrong!! IDC Technologies HR in-charge tried to dodge these questions by saying that the matter is being handled and that negotiations are on with the cab vendors. But we say, for how long will the negotiations go on? It’s already been 2 years. How many lifetimes do they require to reach a concrete decision?

The HR further goes on to say that since they never had cab facilities for women working on the night shift, women in general never joined them. But, since the past 3 months, they have had a lot of female employees joining. So to avoid giving them cabs, the firm has increased their CTC so that female employee can manage their own transportation.

Towards the end of 2016, the state government removed restrictions on allowing women to work in night shifts in all sectors and not only in IT and ITES sectors.

But this came with stringent rules and regulations. The Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, 1961 and the Factories Act 1948 were amended to make provision for women to work in night shifts with a slew of conditions to ensure their safety, security and privacy needs. This included written consent, provision of separate loose, the first priority in pick-up and drop, among others.

It seems as if some firms have a panache for breaking rules. They love to flaunt the idea- “Rules are meant to be broken”!! Well, for these people, we only have one thing to say- Safety always comes first, especially for women, and especially in India where cases like Nirbhaya rape case, Jalgaon rape case exists. Otherwise, what will be the difference between barbaric and decent human beings?

By: Anamika Bhaumik

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