In a first and a ground-breaking move, leading Bollywood production houses have agreed to finally install panels to deal with sexual harassment cases at their offices. According to sources, the move comes after Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, instructed Bollywood studios to comply with the directive immediately. Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi informed that seven Bollywood production houses have accepted her request to form panels to deal with cases of sexual harassment, and urged 17 others to follow their lead.
She also urged the production houses to submit a report about the internal complaints committee set up by them. Last year, Gandhi had asked Bollywood filmmakers to comply with the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013 and set up committees to hear complaints. She had written to 24 production houses, including Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment, Karan Johar's Dharma Production, to form an anti-sexual harassment cell. Citing a media report, Gandhi said on Monday that it was encouraging that seven production houses have accepted her request and complied with the sexual harassment law. "I expect the other producers to ensure similar compliance at the earliest," she said.
According to the media report cited by her, the seven production houses that have formed a sexual harassment committee are Yash Raj Films, Aamir Khan Production, Mukta Arts, Excel Entertainment, Phantom Films, T-Series and Drishyam Films.
"As responsible employers, all are obliged to follow the law of the land. I urge the Bollywood production houses to do so and submit a report on the internal complaints committee set up by them. Together, we need to ensure a safe workplace for our women," Gandhi said. The ministry has said Bollywood filmmakers are ethically and legally accountable for safety of not only their direct employees but of all outsourced and temporary staff as well. It has mandated all workplaces with more than 10 employees to set up an internal complaints committee.