Sexual Harassment At Work – How Bad Is Pune?

Harassment at work
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“Women alleges rape at workplace” screams a headline in a newspaper. A Facebook post relates another case, at times with lurid details.

Ever since #metoo spread like wildfire, sexual harassment cases have been swamping the media on a daily basis. If all the reports have to be believed, then it seems apparent that the workplace is increasingly turning a playground for sexual harassment.

But is it really this bad in Pune or just over hyped?

Pune365 spoke to citizens of the city to find out what they feel about workplace harassment.

“I haven’t faced any such issue at my office and neither have any of my colleagues,” says Ayushi Agarwal

“I’m not sure if it’s hype or for real. I mean there are a lot of cases if you look at it.There are instances where the girls don’t even speak up if they are harassed. They’re scared. But in my office I haven’t seen anything of this kind happening,” she adds.

“I’m reopening what happened with me in 2013, for which I still haven’t received justice,”says Shanti (name changed on request)

“The owner of a Pune-based firm would accompany me on field visits, graze his legs against my thighs and try to hug me. I was told by senior colleagues to dress in a salwar kameez as a precaution.

“I had filled a written complaint with the firm, demanding an internal inquiry to review the situation. Since the firm didn’t have a sexual harassment cell, the company’s board conducted the inquiry, and finally said, “All men stare”.

“One of the reasons women don’t file complaints is because you get branded as ‘that girl who filed a harassment complaint’,” she adds. She was forced to leave the workplace as she saw that there was no action taken.

Another person, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the easiest targets are usually much younger, and therefore, more exploitable.

“I was 23 when my ex-boss began harassing me. It started with comments about my clothes and my size. Initially I ignored it and took the whole matter very casually,” she said.

“However, it then led to pinching and poking, before escalating to ‘butt and boob’ grabbing. And later, to my horror, he was forcefully thrusting against me from behind in public,” she adds.

“I work in a Pune-based media and advertising company as a copywriter,” says   

“In my three years of experience I have never come a crossed a situation where I had gone through sexual abuse,” she adds.

“Till today, I have never faced any sexism at work,” Shreya Gawde, a marketing executive. “The other co-workers, both male college friends, have been extremely supportive and we have always been equals on all decisions.”

“While it is great that some workplaces are progressive, I hope that all others also have the same attitude, she adds.

“I have been working for past six months in a newspaper and the atmosphere has been healthy,” says Gayatri Tandale, a sub-editor. “I don’t think anybody in my office has gone through sexual harassment.

However, I certainly don’t think its hype. “I have  seen a friend suffering from sexual abuse at her workplace,” she adds.


#All views reflected in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.




Ankita Malekar

Ankita Malekar

A talkative tiny speck in the world of Media, with an itch for travel and paws.
Ankita Malekar