People who are vocal about women’s rights face bizarre criticisms and judgements. There is a shocking number of people who believe feminists to be a man-hating cult working towards making the society matriarchal. “Why do women have to complain about everything?”, or “Why is it that so many women face sexual abuse? There must be something wrong with them” are some of the several obnoxious questions that are asked. But it’s time people started asking the right questions, one of them being “Does a woman’s voice even matter?” now that a shocking incident from NIFT has been reported.

56 women housekeeping staffers have been fired from National Institute of Fashion Technology in Hyderabad after they complained of sexual harassment by one male employee of the college. That’s 56 voices against one man.

According to sources, the accused, D Srinivas Reddy, continues to work in the college while all 56 female staffers have been let go. Some of them had been working in the college for a decade.

Srinivas used to sexually harass women employees who would attend to his cabin. He would hold the women staff by their hips, click their photographs without consent, and invite them home to sleep with him. He became so open about his acts that he would directly come to me and ask me to send young and pretty women to his cabin. When I told him that none of the women wanted to work with him, he said that I have a good figure and asked me to sleep with him”, said Ratna Kumari, a supervisor.

He allegedly asked women to sleep with him adding that his wife wasn’t home. He used sexual connotations while speaking to them. This went on for a year after which three women quit their jobs.

October last year, the women first went to higher authorities of the college and complained about Reddy. Receiving no response, they decided to file an official complaint with the police. Reddy has been intimidating the women ever since. It’s been 7 months since the women lodged a complaint and no action has been taken by the Internal Complaints Committee of the college or the police since Reddy has a fair amount of influence on them.

He allegedly asked women to sleep with him adding that his wife wasn’t home. He used sexual connotations while speaking to them. This went on for a year after which three women quit their jobs.

October last year, the women first went to higher authorities of the college and complained about Reddy. Receiving no response, they decided to file an official complaint with the police. Reddy has been intimidating the women ever since. It’s been 7 months since the women lodged a complaint and no action has been taken by the Internal Complaints Committee of the college or the police since Reddy has a fair amount of influence on them.

If an educational institute cannot take action against a persistent harasser, then how can they guarantee the safety of the students? This is absolutely shameful!

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