The film industry has taken cognisance of the recent developments in the area of women’s safety in the Telugu Film industry and has decided collectively to deal with the matter with utmost urgency and in a holistic manner. There have been systems in place within the various organisations of the industry to deal with complaints of sexual harassment etc., and several cases have been dealt with as well. However, in recent times a few people have chosen alternative platforms to air their grievances, and that this has caused some degree of concern within the industry. Hence, the TFI has collectively decided to take a few short term and long term measures to ensure that sexual harassment within the industry is dealt with swiftly and justly.
These are as follows.
1. Setting up of a Panel against sexual harassment comprising of 50 percent non industry members so as to give it greater transparency and integrity. These members include doctors, ngos, psychologists, educationists, ex government officials etc.
2. The legal framework of the guidelines for this panel is being prepared by a team of legal experts.
3. We have already issued guidelines to producers’ council, MAA, TFDA etc. regarding measures to be taken to enhance women’s safety. For e.g., setting up of CASH committees as per Vishakha guidelines in case not already done so, providing of minimum toilet facilities and decent changing rooms to junior artists, character artists ,doing auditions only in in-camera facilities and in the presence of at least one other woman present, avoid using profane language in any form of communication etc.
4. We are in the process of conducting various meetings with women groups within the industry to be able to understand in greater depth their specific issues following which more concrete policies can be framed.
5. The panel against Sexual harassment will also have a direct hotline with she teams so that swift measures can be taken.
6. Helplines via email, phone, sms are being /have been set up so that women can easily approach the panel with any complaints.
7. Processes are being put in place to enable licensing of model coordinators so that the candidates are properly vetted and accountable.
8. Counselling will be set up for new actors who are wishing to enter the TFI.
These are some of the measures being taken with the intention of making the TFI a safe and healthy working space for women.