Staff Reporter

National Commission for Women to prepare guidelines to tackle the issue

Verification of the drivers and security guards recommended`Companies should strengthen their internal codes'

NEW DELHI: Concerned over security of women after the recent criminal assault and murder of a young woman working in a call centre in Bangalore, the National Commission for Women (NCW) brought together all the stakeholders from the National Capital Region -- representatives of the major Business Process Outsourcing, women activists, senior officers of the police as well as the Call Centre Association of India -- at a meeting to discuss a set of guidelines for safety of women that the industry will have to comply with within six weeks.

"Representatives at the meeting felt that there is a need for a new law as there are so many women in the industry and the number is only likely to grow. However, while we will think about sending a recommendation to the Government, there is an urgent need for a set of guidelines to tackle the safety issue,'' said the chairperson of NCW, Girja Vyas.

While NCW will be ready with the guidelines only in a week, they have already made a few suggestions to ensure that women in this sector are more secure. With women accounting for 40 per cent of the 3,50,000 call centre employees in the country, this is an issue the Commission feels that it cannot ignore.

"We have suggested that companies should strengthen their internal codes. They are required to have a complaints committee after the Supreme Court Vishaka Judgement, however, we have suggested that they have one committee only for women. There is also a need to train women in self defence and sensitisation for men,'' she added.

Apart from training of different kinds, the NCW has also recommended that concrete measures like verification of the drivers and security guards. "There has been a suggestion for radio-talking in the cars, which most companies have agreed to. The police have raised the issues that drivers are not recognisable as they don't have uniforms or identity cards. The companies have promised to sort that out. They must also clearly state the timing of work to the employee when they are being hired,'' she added.

The NCW has also asserted that the anyone from the Commission or any State Commission can make surprise visits to any company to ensure that they are complying with the directions.