New Delhi: Taking note of the reports of women working as announcers with All India Radio (AIR) alleging sexual harassment, Woman and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has written to I&B minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, said ANI on Thursday. Maneka has reportedly asked Rathore to ensure that a sensitive and fair system was put in place to address any such grievances in AIR.

According to The Indian Express, Maneka’s communication followed a letter written last week by the All India Radio Casual Announcer and Comperes Union (AICACU). Reports suggest that while all the complainants were casual announcers who got no assignment since they complained,  all accused were permanent staffers.

The daily quoted the AICACU letter as saying, “casual Announcers/Comperes/Radio Jockeys of AIR” find it difficult to “raise voice against any kind of suppression, harassment, injustice caused by the officials, as they always work under fear of losing the job. Female casual workers, who complain of sexual harassment are removed from the job and their witnesses whether males or females are also targeted in the same way.”

It pointed out that there have been similar cases reported from AIR stations in Shahdol and Sagar in Madhya Pradesh, Obra in Uttar Pradesh, Kurukshetra in Haryana, and Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh.

AICACU general secretary Shabnam Khanam told the daily that they had written repeated letters to Prasar Bharati and I&B Ministry over how casual women employees were doubly victimised by way of sexual harassment and then loss of job, but nothing came of it.

Prasar Bharti CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati said, “It will be difficult for me to react (to the complaints) unless we see the specific cases and have a factual summary of cases.”