Mumbai, January 17: In a shocking revelation, 45 cases of sexual harassment have been reported across 24 institutes under the Sports Authority of India (SAI) over the last decade and Neelam Kapur, ex-SAI director general, said the number could even be higher.
"I do believe that the actual number of cases will be much higher than reported because everybody does not have courage to report them. I did not realise the extent to which sexual harassment was an issue," Kapur was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.
"When I went into details, I found out that there were a lot of cases pending for years. So it did come as a shock but this is a culture that has developed over a number of years. I don't think this is the fault of anyone specific. This is just a culture in our society," she said.
As per the data procured by IE, 29 of the 45 complaints that was filed between2010 and 2019 were against coaches in sports like gymnastics, athletics, weightlifting, boxing and wrestling.
Kapur said several cases might not have been even reported by the trainees as they could be fearing of retribution. "A lot of people do not know where to go to. If there is a case, some of them suffer quietly. The impression some of them have is, 'We have to put up with this else we won't be selected in the team'," Kapur said.
"Both sides should know this is not acceptable. The complaints have to be investigated and dealt with very swiftly. Action has to be very quick, you can't keep it pending," she added.