Sri Reddy row: Telugu Film Industry promises CASH committees, Helplines, Toilets and more

Amid an ugly #MeToo movement when actress Sri Reddy bared her body in the public, the shocked Telugu film industry (TFI) has come up with a series of steps to ensure women’s safety.

In a statement, the Telugu Film industry said that it has decided collectively to deal with the matter with utmost urgency and in a wholistic manner. Despite several means to air one’s grievances, the statement said a few people have chosen “alternative platforms” to air their grievances that has caused concern.

Hence, the TFI said it has collectively decided to take a few short term and long term measures.

To begin with the Telugu film industry has decided to set up a Panel against sexual harassment. It comprises 50 percent non-industry members to give it a greater transparency and integrity. These members include doctors, members from NGOs, psychologists, educationists, ex-government officials among others. Currently, a legal framework of the the guidelines for this panel are being prepared by a team of legal experts, said the statement.

The industry bodies have given guidelines to producers council, MAA, and TFDA about the measures to be taken to enhance women safety, including setting up of CASH committees as per Vishakha guidelines, providing minimum toilet facilities and decent changing rooms to junior artists, character artists doing auditions only in in-camera facilities and in the presence of at least one other woman present, avoid using profane language in any form of communication.

The defensive Telugu Film Industry said it is in the process of conducting various meetings with women groups within the industry to be able to understand in greater depth their specific issues following which more concrete policies can be framed.

Interestingly, the panel against sexual harassment will have a direct hotline with women teams to take up swift measures. Besides, the helplines via email, phone, SMS have been set up so women can easily approach the panel with complaints, said the statement without giving further details about any hotline.

It said licenses will be issued soon to model coordinators so that the candidates are properly vetted and made accountable. It assured counselling for new actors who are wishing to enter the Telugu Film Industry.

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