Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju Says Zero Tolerance For Sexual Harassment In SAI

The Sports Authority of India on Friday rejected reports that complaints related to sexual harassment are not dealt with strictly at its institutes. SAI claimed that a robust system is in place to tackle such cases but acknowledged that punishments should be harsher for those found guilty.

kiren-rijiju-on-zero-tolerance-for-sexual-harrasment-saiUnion Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has stated strongly that there is a zero-tolerance policy for sexual exploitation in SAI centers and giving players a safe environment is their top priority.

Rijiju said in a statement on Friday, “There is zero tolerance of sexual harassment on SAI campuses. The inquiries that are underway will be speeded up. I have directed that all pending cases will be disposed of within the next four weeks.”

The statement further asserted that the government and the sports ministry is doing everything that is possible to provide a safe environment for both boys and girls and for which the existing system is being strengthened. Rijiju’s statement further emphasized that It is their responsibility to keep the players who are the future of the country safe in every way.

It is worth mentioning that according to the records of 2011 to 2019 available in SAI, 35 cases of sexual harassment were reported in various SAI centers, out of which 27 cases were filed by the trainees against their coaches. So far 14 people have been convicted and sentenced.Kiren-Rijiju-zero-tolerance-for-sexual-harrasment-in-sai

An investigation is still on in 15 cases while in other cases the accused in the relevant court were acquitted or the charges against them were not proved. SAI provides training to more than 15 thousand players in different age groups every year in its various centers. SAI has a strong system of providing a safe environment for players to live, study and train.

The Regional Center of SAI has an Internal Complaints Committee and since April 2019 a call center is also in operation where trainees can directly file their complaints. The call center received more than 350 complaints in December 2019. Immediate action is taken on every complaint so that no offense can be repeated.