Visakha committee



This policy is developed by the Kshitizz NGO India in accordance with The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013, and The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Rules, 2013. The policy aims to create a safe, respectful, and gender-sensitive work environment free from sexual harassment. The Organization has adopted the following Policy formulation in accordance with Notification issued by the Ministry of Women and Child Development dated December 09, 2013. All employees, including full-time, part-time, temporary, interns, and volunteers are expected to adhere to this policy. This policy is applicable to all levels of the organization, including board members, management and staff.


Kshitizz NGO India wishes to maintain a work environment that fosters personal and professional growth for all employees. Every employee and the person working under or with the Organization is under a legal obligation to maintain such an environment of the organization. The Organization is committed to provide a harassment-free environment for its employees and volunteers. The Organization fosters mutual respect, cooperation and understanding as the basis of interaction between the member and staffs. The organization has zero-tolerance policy and no act or behaviour shall be condoned that is likely to undermine the dignity or self-esteem of an individual, or create an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. The Organization firmly believes in creating a work space that is inclusive for all, where every persons enjoys the right to work with dignity and therefore adopts a gender-neutral policy against Sexual Harassment.

All the employees of the Organization have a personal responsibility to ensure that their behaviour is not contrary to this policy. The employees are encouraged to reinforce the maintenance of a work environment free from sexual harassment.


This Policy extends to all the categories of employees of the Organization and all the employees on contract on the workplace.

All individuals of the organization shall abide by the policy and shall coordinate for effective implementation of this policy.

3. DEFINITIONS: The followings words and expression in the policy shall be interpreted as follows

A. Aggrieved – An individual employee (irrespective of their sex or gender) of the Kshitizz NGO India, whether her/his/their employment is permanent or contractual, full-time or part-time, or an intern in the Organization who alleges to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment by the respondent.

B. Complainant - The written complaint of sexual harassment with the Internal Complaints Committee may be filled by any of the following persons

(i)  Any employee of the Kshitizz NGO India who is aggrieved of the acts, behaviour, or circumstances of sexual harassment;

(ii)  In case of the physical incapacity of the aggrieved to file the complaint, any of the following persons can file the complaint

      with the written consent of the Aggrieved;

a)  Relative of Aggrieved; or

b)  Friend of Aggrieved; or

c)  Co-worker of Aggrieved; or

d)  Any person who has knowledge of the Incident;

(iii)  In case of the mental incapacity of the aggrieved to file the complaint, any of the following persons can file the complaint with the written consent of the Aggrieved;

a)  Relative of Aggrieved; or

b)  Friend of Aggrieved; or

c)  Special Educator; or

d)  Qualified psychiatrist/psychologist; or

e)  Guardian or Authority under whose care the aggrieved is receiving treatment/ care; or

f)   Any person who has knowledge of the Incident, jointly with any person mentioned above;

(iv) In case of death of the Aggrieved, any person with the knowledge of the incident with the written consent of the legal heir of

       the aggrieved;

(v)  In case, the Aggrieved is unable to file the complaint for any other reason, any person who has knowledge of the incident

       with the written consent of aggrieved.

(vi)   Officer of NCW or SCW

C. Complaint of Sexual Harassment - A written Complaint by the complainant alleging the acts, behaviour, or circumstances constituting Sexual Harassment at Workplace

D. Internal Complaints Committee - The Committee formed in this policy to

(i)   receive and investigate the complaints of sexual harassment and provide redressal for the same; and

(ii)  carry out all the other responsibilities relating to prevention, prohibition and redressal of sexual harassment at workplace

      provided by the policy.

E. Respondent - An individual against whom the Complaint of Sexual Harassment has been made.

F. Sexual Harassment at Workplace - This includes any one or more of the following unwelcome acts or behaviour (whether directly or by implication) namely:

(i)                 Physical contacts or advances; or

(ii)              A demand or request for sexual favours; or

(iii)            Making sexually coloured remarks; or

(iv)             Showing pornography; or

(v)               Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.

The following circumstances may also amount to sexual harassment, if it occurs, or is present in relation to, or connected with any act or behaviour of sexual harassment:

(i)                 Implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in her/his/their employment; or

(ii)              Implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment in her/his/their employment; or

(iii)            Implied or explicit threat of her/his/their present or future employment status; or

(iv)             Interference with her/his/their work or creating an intimidating or offensive or hostile work environment for her; or

(v)               Humiliating treatment likely to affect her/his/their health or safety.

It also includes situations where any one or more of the above stated acts is committed in circumstances where under the aggrieved of such conduct has a reasonable apprehension that in relation to her/his/their employment or work, whether she/he/they are drawing salary, honorarium, or working voluntarily, such conduct can be humiliating and may constitute a health and safety problem.

It is discriminatory for instance when the aggrieved has reasonable grounds to believe that her/his/their objection would disadvantage her/him/them in connection with her/his/their employment or work including recruitment, promotion or when it creates a hostile work environment, or adverse consequences might be visited if the aggrieved does not consent to the conduct in question or raises any objection thereto.

It also includes any online communication through which any of the above act or behavior is committed, or circumstances of above nature is created.

G. Workplace – The workplace shall mean the office premises of the Kshitizz NGO and shall also includes

(i) the places where the organization conducts fieldvisits or organises camps for education, awareness and other similar purposes in the furtherance of orgsnization's objectives;

(ii) Any online mode of communication through which employees, volunteers or interns are working with the organization.

*Word and Expression used and not defined in this policy shall have the same meanings respectively assigned to them in The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Protection and Redressal) Act, 2013 (as stand amended from time to time).


The Organization shall take following steps so as to prevent the incidence of sexual harassment 

(i)Awareness Programs

The Organization will conduct regular awareness programs on sexual harassment, its prevention, and procedure for redressal. These programs will be conducted during orientation, and periodically on every six months, through awareness campaigns. 

(ii)Display and Dissemination of the Policy:

a. The policy shall be prominently displayed on notice boards, the organization’s intranet, and other communication platforms to ensure its accessibility to all the employees.

b. A copy of this policy shall be given to all the existing and new employees of the organization and they shall sign a statement acknowledging that they have received, read, understood and will abide by the Policy.


In due compliance of Section 4 (1) of ‘The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Protection and Redressal) Act, 2013’ whereby the employer of the Organization is required to constitute an Internal Complaints Committee, by an order in writing, the Kshitizz NGO India constitutes an Internal Complaints Committee (herein after referred to as ‘Internal Committee’ or ‘Committee’) and abide by the Act.

5.1 Composition of Internal Complaint Committee

The Committee shall consist of following members



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Note: The Chairperson of the Internal Complaints Committee shall always be a Women with expertise in women rights and law.


The committee has the following objectives:

a)  Prevent discrimination and sexual harassment, by promoting gender amity among employees;

b)  Make recommendations to the Management for changes / elaborations in the Rules for employees, interns and other stakeholders in the Employment Agreement and the Bye-Laws, to make them gender just and to lay down procedures for the prohibition, resolution, settlement and prosecution of acts of discrimination and sexual harassment.

c)  Deal with the cases of discrimination and sexual harassment in a time bound manner, aiming at ensuring support services to aggrieved and termination of harassment;


a)  The Committee shall decide whether the facts contained in the complaint make out a case of “sexual harassment” in light of the definition contained in the Policy.

b) The Committee shall look into the truth of allegations contained in the complaint.

c) The Committee shall conduct a fair and unbiased enquiry into the complaints.

d) The Committee shall look in to the truth of any allegation of retaliation against/ victimization of the complainant or any other person assisting the aggrieved as a result of such complaint having been made or such assistance having been offered.

e) The Committee shall recommend the penalties/ action to be taken against any person found guilty of having sexually harassed the aggrieved/complainant, up to and including termination, to the management.

f) The Committee shall recommend the penalties/ action to be taken against any person found guilty of having retaliated against, or victimized the complainant or any other person assisting her/him/them as a result of such complaint having been made or such assistance having been offer.

g)  The Committee shall recommend appropriate psychological, emotional and physical support (counselling, security and other assistance) for the victim to the Management.

h) The Committee shall monitor the follow-up action to be taken by the Management on the receipt of the Committee Report.

i) The Committee shall submit the annual and quarterly reports on the numbers of complaints received, disposed of, and pending during the period of one year. 


The Committee shall keep complete and accurate documentation of the complaints, its investigations, and the resolutions thereof. The incidents would be documented in both the complainants’ and the accuseds’ files with the full reports of the Complaints Committee.


All the information received shall be kept confidential. Any person (including witness) who breaches the confidentiality shall be subject to disciplinary action.


Regardless of the outcome of the complaint made in good faith, the employee lodging the complaint any person providing information or any witness, shall be protected from any form of retaliation. While dealing with complaints of sexual harassment, the Committee shall ensure that the Complainant, Victim, or the Witness(es) are not victimized or discriminated by the Accused/Respondent. Any unwarranted pressures, retaliatory or any other type of unethical behaviour from the accused against the Complainant while the investigation is in progress should be reported by the Complainant to Complaints Committee as soon as possible. The Complaints Committee shall take Disciplinary Action shall be taken against such Complaints, which are found Genuine.


(i) Any employee of the Kshitizz NGO India who feels of being sexually harassed or being subjected to any disparity on the basis of gender or sex, directly or indirectly, may submit a complaint of the alleged incident to any member of the Committee in writing with her/his/their signature with date within three months from the date of alleged incident;

(ii) A complaint must specify the nature of the allegation, the date and time of specific event(s), names and addresses of witness(es) if any, and any evidence that support the allegation(s). In addition, it should also include the contact details of the aggrieved party such as address, contact number, department and name(s) of the alleged respondent(s);

(iii) If the complaint has been submitted to any Department Head, the same should be forwarded to the Chairman of the Committee against Sexual Harassment for Inquiry.

6.1 First Person of Information (FPI)

        i. The Committee shall appoint one person in every department to be designated as First Person of Information (FPI).

   ii. FPI shall be responsible for raising the awareness about the Policy of the Organization against sexual harassment in their department.

iii.  FPI shall act as a bridge between the aggrieved and the Committee, and shall be responsible to inform the Committee about any incidence of sexual harassment which come to their knowledge.

iv.In case, the aggrieved or complainant is unable to file the Complaint of sexual harassment or indecent behaviour to the Committee, they may inform the FPI about the Complaint of sexual harassment or indecent behaviour which shall be forwarded to the Committee by the FPI. 

   v.   The Committee on receipt of such information shall

a. Assist the complainant in instituting the complaint of sexual harassment, if they want to file an official complaint;

b. Issue warning to the respondent to correct his/her/their behaviour if the complaint is of indecent behaviour and the complainant instead of filing any official complaint, want that the respondent should be warned to behave decently.


(i) On receipt of the complaint, one copy of the complaint shall be sent to the respondent within seven working days;

(ii)  The Respondent shall file the reply along with supporting evidences, list of evidences to complaint within a period not exceeding ten working days from the date of receipt of documents specified in clause 7(i);

(iii)  The Complaints Committee shall make inquiry into the complaint in accordance with the principles of natural justice;

(iv)  The Complaints Committee shall have the right to terminate the inquiry proceedings or to give an exparte decision on the complaint, if the complainant or respondent fails, without sufficient cause, to present herself or himself for three consecutive hearings convened by the Chairperson or Presiding Officer, as the case may be;

    Provided that such termination or ex-parte order may not be passed without giving a notice in writing, fifteen days in advance, to the party concerned.

(v) The parties shall not be allowed to bring in any legal practitioner to represent them in their case at any stage of the proceedings before the Complaints Committee.

(vi)  In conducting the inquiry, a minimum of three Members of the Complaints Committee including the Presiding Officer or the Chairperson, as the case may be, shall be present.


The Organization is committed to providing a supportive environment to resolve concern sexual harassment as under:

a) When an incident of sexual harassment occurs, the aggrieved/victim of such conduct can communicate their disapproval and objections immediately to the harasser and request the harasser to behave decently.

b)  If the sexual harassment does not stop or if the victim is not comfortable with addressing the harasser directly, the victim can bring their concern to the attention of the Committee for redressal of their grievances.

c)  In the event, the complaint does not fall under the purview of sexual harassment, the same would be dismissed after recording the reasons.

d)  In case the complaint is found to be false, the complainant shall, if deemed fit, be liable for appropriate disciplinary action by the Committee.

e)  The Management shall provide all necessary assistance for the purpose of ensuring full, effective and speedy implementation of the Policy.

f)   Where sexual harassment occurs as a result of an act or omission by the third party or the outsider, the Committee shall take all steps necessary and reasonable to assist the affected person in terms of support and preventive action.


All proceedings, including the statements and other materials adduced as evidence before the Committee shall be strictly kept confidential. The Committee shall take all the necessary steps to ensure that the parties before it and their representatives shall maintain strict confidentiality in all respects.

a)  The decision of the Committee on any matter within its competence shall be considered final and no appeal/ challenge to the same shall lie to any person.

b)  The management shall scrutinize the report and recommendations of the Committee and take appropriate action against the guilty person in accordance with the Guidelines, Policy, and gravity of the behaviour disclosed in the Committee’s Report.

c)  In case the conduct disclosed in the Committee’s Report is of a nature that amounts to a criminal offence under the law of the land, appropriate action shall be initiated by the Management, for making a police complaint in respect of the same.

d)  The Management shall scrutinize the report and recommendations of the Committee and take appropriate action to provide the victim with the necessary psychological, emotional and physical support.

e)  In case of sexual harassment of any employee by person not employed by the organization, the Management shall take all steps necessary and reasonable to assist the affected employee in the terms of providing her/him/them with psychological, emotional and physical support and enabling her to take recourse to the law.


The chairperson of the Committee shall furnish consolidated quarterly report after the meeting held by the Committee members on every quarter with the below details:

·         Number of cases,

·         Date of complaints,

·         Allegation in brief,

·         Present status of the case,

·         Any order passed by the authority with date,

·         Nil Report, if no cases.

The Committee shall in each calendar year, prepare & submit report to the employer with the following details:

·         Number of Complaints of sexual harassment received in the year

·         Number of Complaints of sexual harassment disposed in the year

·         Number of Complaints of sexual harassment pending in the year

·         Nature of action and measures taken

·         Submission of reports with no issues raised during the year.