Predators at Workplace

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State’s health department was in news recently but for all the wrong reasons. The case of a lady doctor accusing her seniors of molestation shows how ‘safe’ women are at workplaces.

Experts explain the rise as a direct consequence of awareness and education of women folk about their rights which has manifested in the increased reportage of such indignant cases.

It is, however, unclear whether the increase in the number is due to the real increase in crime rate or else the increase in reportage of such evil acts. One thing we may interpret in light of the recent happenings is that our ‘Pir-Waer’ is not free from such vices and moral derelictions and ostensibly such things may have happened in past without dropping into the public domain.

First the Sex Scandal of 2006 pummelled the noble souls in valley followed by self styled mystic Gulzar alias Gulzar Peer, which was an eye opener and shook the faith in spiritual beings.

For a civilized society in which social cohesions are still strong, such misdemeanours are a cause of concern that needs immediate attention from one and all, rather introspection like the one initiated recently.

In last few months, cases pertaining to sexual abuse have been reported in the Government’s Health Department. In first case, it was the Minister himself who stood accused in the case. Ministers in the government are to bring-in the popular elements in legislations and policies framed by the government. In this case, the Minister finding himself cornered sought refuge in the Indian Nationalism to avail the bail. What appeared more painful was the inability of police to track down the accused politician for weeks together. Hilarious to say when police wants the custody of an absconding alleged stone-pelter, his father or brother is withheld  though contrary to laws, while in cases involving high profile persons, police prefers to follow the book. This perhaps demonstrates amply that state has a separate set of laws for ordinary masses and executives.

And, the recent case involving a lady nurse, accusing the incumbent Director Health of molestation made headlines. Though the investigations to establish the veracity are on in both cases, but the disrepute it brought to the Government as a whole is unimaginable. On a lighter note, recently one of the higher rung politicians while trying to reason out the “failures in recent elections commented that ‘Sex and Corruption’ are now part of the system and can’t be fixed as the reasons for loss.”

What is worth contemplating in such incriminating acts is the consequence it bears on the morale of employees in particular and society in general. Increasing rate of such abuses suggests the decadence of our society and erosion of moral values among the top working cadre. Politicians and bureaucrats working in the system are part of our society and before joining the state services, they imbibe the culture, moors and ethos of society in which they were bred and raised-up. Disregard for values and disrespect for opposite sex reflects the subtle stagnation our society is undergoing.

Another effect of such a moral aberration is that it unravels the depth that professional values have attained in our political culture rather a level to which they have depreciated. The recent exposure explains the rot that lies within.

When the boss himself promotes a culture of promiscuity, officials down the hierarchy are likely to follow the suit albeit with some exceptions which includes rebels who may resent and are coerced into silent acquiescence. This leads one to question the utility (read futility) of training and orientation programs that are planned for the administrators before joining the services. Failure to instil the appropriate work culture and values then essentially demands a relook into the system of our functioning.

Finally, the belief that advancing of sexual favours in return for promotion, prize postings shatters the myth of ‘meritocity’ prevailing in our system. When extraneous considerations besides merit are counted for in evaluating the fitness and worth of an employee, the concept of neutral bureaucracy melts down. Such devious rituals may throw-up the incapable lot while the deserving and cultured will wither away somewhere down the ladder of hierarchy as unsung hero/s. In such a system, governance will be the casualty and expectations from such a system will be abysmal. Hence, introspection is the need of the hour!

(Riyaz ul Khaliq)

HOW JUSTICE VERMA COMMITTEE ‘GRADED’ THE SEXUAL OFFENCES AGAINST WOMEN

RAPE: The Committee recommended that the gradation of sexual offences should be retained in the Indian Penal Code, 1 860 (IPC). The Committee was of the view that rape and sexual assault are not merely crimes of passion but an expression of power. Committee recommended that rape should be retained as a separate offence and any non consensual penetration of a sexual nature should be included in the definition of rape.

SEXUAL ASSAULT: Currently, “assault or use of criminal force to a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty” is punishable under Section 354 of the IPC with 2 years imprisonment. The term outraging the modesty of a woman is not defined in the IPC. However, the Committee recommended that non-penetrative forms of sexual contact should be regarded as sexual assault. The offence of sexual assault should be defined so as to include all forms of non-consensual non-penetrative touching of a sexual nature. The sexual nature of an act should be determined on the basis of the circumstances.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT: Some of the key recommendations made by the Committee on the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2012 that was pending in Parliament are provided below:

1.            Domestic workers should be included within the purview of the Bill.

2.            Under the Bill the complainant and the respondent are first required to attempt conciliation. This is contrary to the Supreme Court judgment in Vishakha v s. State of Rajasthan which aimed to secure a safe workplace to women.

3.            The employer should pay compensation to the woman who has suffered sexual harassment.

4.            The Bill requires the employer to institute an internal complaints committee to which complaints must be filed. Such an internal committee defeats the purpose of the Bill and instead, there should be an Employment Tribunal to receive and adjudicate all com plaints.

ACID ATTACK: The Committee opined that the offence should not be clubbed under the provisions of grievous hurt which is punishable with 7 years imprisonment under the IPC. It noted that the offence was addressed in the Criminal Laws Amendment Bill, 2012 which is was pending in Parliament during the previous regime. The Bill prescribes a punishment of imprisonment for 10 years or life. It recommended that the central and state government create a corpus to compensate victims of crimes against women.

OFFENCES AGAINST WOMEN IN CONFLICT AREAS: The continuance of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in conflict areas needs to be revisited. At present, the AFSPA requires a sanction by the central government for initiating prosecution against armed forces personnel. The Committee has recommended that the requirement of sanction for prosecution of armed forces personnel should be specifically excluded when a sexual offence is alleged. Complainants of sexual violence must be afforded witness protection. Special commissioners should be appointed in conflict areas to monitor and prosecute for sexual offences. Training of armed personnel should be reoriented to emphasize strict observance of orders in this regard by armed personnel.

ADDMISSION @ NIFT SRINAGAR

National Institute of Fashion Technology, Srinagar, SIDCO complex Rangreth, affiliated to the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India has announced admission for its continuing education programme in several creative and artistic streams.

Courses offered at the campus are enlisted below with certain inputs in order to provide insights into the courses offered and the prospective future opportunities for the aspirants who are interested to pursue career in such fields.

FASHION APPAREL IN WOMEN’S WEAR

WHAT IS THE COURSE ABOUT?

Fashion designing is the art of designing clothes and apparel in a unique manner that is likely to enhance the natural beauty of human body. Designing is attempted in such a manner that it adds to the aesthetic value. Designers have liberty to experiment with their creative faculties. Nonetheless, the main aim of designing is to come up with your own style statement and create new designs that are fit to be displayed on special occasions especially in parties, weddings and other social gatherings.

CAREER IN FASHION DESIGNING:

As a career, fashion designing is one of the finest paying industries. But one must be prepared to adopt this career on long term basis. With the competition soaring up, textile industries are hiring fashion designers to enhance their products. Besides females with a background in the fashion designing are more suited for establishing a boutique.

Interestingly fashion conscious people in the valley now prefer the modern boutiques for designing and stitching their clothes. Besides it is a growing field as such the opportunities that one can avail are plenty.

JOBS IN FASHION DESIGNING:

It’s often advisable that after finishing the courses, one should work as a trainee under the tutelage of well known designer so as to grasp the tricks of the trade. Some of the attributes that one can bank upon is to have an artistic nature, creative brain and a good sense for drawing sketches and choosing right color combinations. Careers that one can take up are:

FASHION DESIGNER:  This role is more fascinating as well as challenging. Here a designer has to create new products and follow the trend. At times a seasoned designer can attempt to alter the trend by setting his/her own.

FASHION CORDINATORS:  Not directly involved in designing, such kind of professional have to deal with marketing and polices thereof.

FASHION ILLUSTRATOR:  creative mental faculties which harbor a multitude of ideas pertaining to designing are suitable for this role. Coming up with new ideas and designs, they are the trend setters, the brains working behind the curtains.

FASHION STYLIST: Walking down the ramp seems too easy especially for the models, but sparkling up the ramp, decorating the shows besides maintaining the wardrobes and other related activities that add to the magnificence of a fashion show is responsibility of a fashion stylist.

ELIGIBILITY: A candidate should have passed his Higher Secondary School examination (10+2) from a recognized board.

DURATION: 1 year (Classes will be held for 5 days every week)

SEATS: 30

Course Fee: Rs 80,000

STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY

Photography is a technical art that opens up the vistas of opportunities for creative brains. As is often said, ‘It’s the eye that sees a frame and camera only captures it’. Photography opens up several fields to the skilled persons. One can specialize in wildlife, fashion, commercial, portrait, advertising and news photography. However to earn the skill required, one should develop a knack for it.

CAREER IN PHOTOGRAPHY:

PHOTOJOURNALISTS:  Also called as press photographers who are employed by newspapers and channels. Often repeated phrase in journalistic circles that a good picture is worth a thousand words. Press photographers should have a nose for news besides journalistic instincts. He should be ready to face the adverse situation especially while working in a conflict zone.

FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY: Photo features approximate the news reports and at other times may surpass it in exposition. Words can create a situation, but pictures allow us to feel the circumstances. Photographers can specialize in environment, sports, travel, wildlife etc.

COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS: Companies and corporate sectors employ photographers to improve their public image besides presenting the company in a more suitable way.

PORTRAIT & WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY: Portrait photographers are in great demand always. Clicking happy moments for families besides developing portfolios for models and making wedding ceremonies memorable is their prime task.

ADVERTISING PHOTOGRAPHY: Of all branches, this is the most competitive and highly remunerative job. Advertising companies require pictures on wide range of things consequently photographer’s success depends on his creative abilities and efficiency. Usually such photographers are provided with the instructions as to what the company requires. Therefore he should be witty enough to approximate the pictures with the idea provided.

FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY: Such photographers are employed by fashion houses and are required to click their buttons on the advice of a fashion designer. Its highly paid jobs provided a person has knack for it. Here one has to be adept at handling the high tech equipments and should be familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the equipment that he will be handling. It’s of recent origin in India; hence the beginners have a lot of unexplored field to fine-tune their skills.

 LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY: Nature photographs are often sought for the calendars, dairies and other wall hanging pictures. Nature and wildlife photography are closely related to landscape photography.

FORENSIC PHOTOGRAPHY: Crime scenes are photographed to extract the maximum information from the crime scene besides recording of any evidence permanently that the scene may present to the eyes. Such photographs are employed by the police agencies and other investigative departments.

ELIGIBILITY: A candidate should have passed his Higher Secondary School examination (10+2) from a recognized board.

DURATION: 6 Months (classes will be held on weekends)

SEATS: 30

Course Fee: Rs 30,000

FASHION AND DESIGN DRAWING

This course approximates the fashion designing course explained above, albeit with emphasis on design drawing and education. Here the aim is to calibrate the creative pursuits of the aspirants.

ELIGIBILITY: A candidate should have passed his middle examination (8th onwards) from a recognized board.

DURATION: 3 Months (classes will be held for 5 days a week)

SEATS: 30

Course Fee: Rs 30,000

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