Safety of women BPO employees inadequate, say activists


New Delhi : Security of women employees of call centres remains inadequate even after repeated instructions issued by Delhi police to BPOs in the national capital region (NCR), women activists said Thursday.

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A day after the gangrape of a Gurgaon call centre employee in the capital, Ranjana Kumari, director of the Centre for Social Research, told IANS: “The government needs to tighten the noose around the corporate sector as to why such incidents are happening.”

“Women activists and the National Commission for Women (NCW) have been demanding security arrangements for women working late at night. But the BPO companies have never bothered to care about it,” she said.

After the rape of a 19-year-old BPO employee earlier this month, Delhi Police along with National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) — the apex trade body of the IT-BPO sector — held a meeting of BPO companies.

“Steps on providing security to women employees in call centres were discussed. Women employees were also asked about their security priorities,” said an official from NASSCOM.

Issues such as the exact place of pick-and-drop of an employee, identity of the driver and registration of cabs were also discussed for the security of women working in graveyard shifts, he said.

Women employees of call centres feel that the employers are not always serious about their security.

“Graveyard shifts have never been safe for women, but companies do not bother. The matter is taken up only when there is a victim of sexual exploitation,” said Upasana Virk, an employee of a call centre in Gurgaon.

In Wednesday’s incident of gangrape, the cab driver allegedly dropped the northeastern woman nearly 100 metres away from her home in Nanakpura in south Delhi.

“At times the cab drivers give us lame excuses for dropping us away from the home, saying that they have to drop other people also,” Vidisha Brar, another call centre employee in NCR, told IANS.

The victim in Wednesday’s incident was abducted by four-five men from Dhaula Kuan in south Delhi and gangraped in a moving tempo goods carrier.