Life Ban and Zero Pension For Coaches Guilty of Sexual Harassment

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Sports coaches who molest budding sportspersons, including minors, should be paying a heavy price and be given no second chances. Right? That’s what I thought. 

So can you imagine my shock when I read a news report about how sexual harassment cases at training centres of the Sports Authority of India are being handled.

“A coach who was found guilty of groping and kissing five minor trainees at the Hisar centre was let off with a 10 per cent cut in pension for one year. In another case, a coach was penalised with a deduction of Rs 910 per month in his salary." (Quoted in Indian Express) 

A meagre pension cut and 3-digit salary deduction! Are we actually putting a price on the safety of innocents?

As a mother of two young children who excel in different sports, I’m shocked, angry and also scared. Sign my petition demanding a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment in Indian sports.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has promised a speedy resolution of pending cases. But what about putting a stop to coaches who become predators? We can't let them be around their victims who are comparatively powerless.

In a statement, the SAI said it has been conducting workshops at all its training centres about the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) Act. There is also a helpline that some brave survivors have called. But still, sexual harassment is rampant. This is not surprising given how the guilty are getting away lightly.

Sign my petition asking the Sports Minister to announce a life ban on coaches found guilty of sexual harassment and to strip them of their pension and other benefits. And to prevent them from being around trainees while the investigation is pending.

This is the only way such coaches will get the message and young trainees can be safe.

You don’t have to be a parent to share my outrage. Think back to when you were a child and imagine how broken and betrayed you would have felt if someone you held in high regard did something terrible, traumatic and irreversible to you. 

A former chief of the SAI told journalists that the number of cases of sexual harassment at SAI training centres is possibly much higher because many victims are too scared to speak out. They fear that they will be denied their hard-earned dream to represent India and do the country proud. 

So let’s raise our voices for them today. Sign and share my petition. #BanTheCreeps

(Representational image)
(Image credit: Indian Express)