As the stories of sexual harassment and abuse piles up in Bollywood, associations like Cine and TV Artists Association (CINTAA) and Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) have stepped in to deal with the issue. CINTAA has started a committee that will handle sexual harassment in the industry, and it has included actors Swara Bhasker and Raveena Tandon in it.
Along with Swara and Raveena, actor Renuka Shahane, filmmaker Amol Gupte, journalist Bharti Dubey, PoSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) lawyers and psychologists will also be part of the committee. Sushant Singh, general secretary, CINTAA said the organisation is collaborating with several people to eliminate the issue.
“Swara Bhasker approached us, she is a member. She was working on this issue independently, very methodically. When we met her we realised we were on the same page. We are planning to set up a sub-committee which will focus on sexual harassment awareness. It includes Swara and lawyer Vrinda Grover who will take a session for the industry. PoSH will also pitch in and counselling sessions, awareness workshops and symposiums will be held,” Sushant said.
The actor said the organisation aims to make the committee so robust that the industry refuses to work with proven offenders.
“We need to define punishment for what one has done. As a trade union, we can only expel such people from associations. But as an industry, we need to think. The committee should be so strong that if someone is held guilty, proven wrong or is a repeat offender, no one should employ them. We will be coordinating with producers, because they are the employers. We need to create such an atmosphere,” he added.
Sushant said the #MeToo movement has shocked people and changed outlooks about the way things function on the ground.