Samarth Community

1.       Objective

Samarth Life Management Private Limited (‘the Company’ or ‘Samarth’) is committed to providing a work environment free from harassment of any kind and in particular, a work environment that does not tolerate sexual harassment. We respect dignity of everyone involved in our work place, whether they are employees, suppliers or our customers. We require all employees to make sure that they maintain mutual respect and positive regard towards one another.

In compliance with the mandate of 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, Samarth adopts the present Policy and Rules and Procedures for the prevention, prohibition and redressal of sexual harassment of women at its workplace. The same is termed as Samarth Policy on Prevention of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace.

2.     Definitions

These definitions will apply in these rules unless the context otherwise requires.

  • “Committee” means the Samarth Internal Complaint Committee.
  • “Consultant/ Employee” means any person employed at any workplace of Samarth for any work on regular, temporary, ad-hoc, contractual or daily wage basis, either directly, or by or through any agency (including a contractor), with or without the knowledge of the principal employer, whether for remuneration or not, or working on a voluntary basis, or otherwise, whether the terms of employment are expressed or implied, and includes a person employed at the grade of a Director, Manager, Coordinator, Officer, Associate, support staff, whether employed as a temporary, casual, consultant, probationer, trainee, or by any other name called, including employees of Partners of Samarth who report to Samarth under specific projects or activities.
  • Outsider means any person who is not an employee of Samarth, and includes but is not limited to:
  • any contractor or person providing residential, food, courier, transport, office supplies, or any other facilities to Samarth
  • visitor to any of the offices of Samarth
  • participants attending a seminar, workshop, meeting, or any other event or programme organised by Samarth.
  • Partner Institutions means any NGO, private sector corporation, or government body, or any other group or organisation, with which Samarth enters into an agreement, or collaborates with, or has a working relationship with, in furtherance of its objectives, and includes representatives of such institutions
  • “Respondent” means any person against whom the aggrieved man/woman has made a complaint of sexual harassment
  • “Sexual Harassment of a man/woman” means – includes any one or more of the following unwelcome acts or behaviour (whether directly or by implication) namely:
  • physical contact or advances; or
  • demand or request for sexual favours; or
  • making sexually coloured remarks; or
  • showing of pornography; or
  • any other unwelcome, physical, or verbal, or non-verbal conduct, of a sexual nature, or sexually determined behaviour, including but not limited to, loaded comments, jokes, letters, phone calls, emails, SMS, Twitter or any other form of internet or electronic communication, gestures, lurid stares, spreading rumours, physical contact, stalking, sounds or display of a derogatory nature, deprecatory or denigrating remarks or conduct based on gender identity and directed towards men/women
  • any unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal act or conduct of a sexual nature, or sexually determined behaviour, which amounts to:
      • implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in a person’s employment; or
      • implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment in their employment; or
      • implied or explicit threat with regard to their present or future employment status; or
      • which has the purpose or effect of interfering with or interferes with a person’s work, or performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment; or
      • when submission to any of the above conduct is made a term or condition of employment, participation or evaluation of a person’s engagement in any activity of the Samarth.
  • any conduct of a sexual nature that is likely to affect their mental, physiological, emotional or physical health or safety;
  • Workplace means- All the workspaces/ offices of Samarth, any other temporary, or permanent, branch or unit, established by Samarth, any office of a non-governmental organisation (NGO), or private corporation, or a government institution, which are partner institutions of Samarth as defined herein, any place visited by the employee arising out of or during the course of work/employment including any transportation provided by the employer for undertaking such journey, for purposes of trainings, meetings, workshops etc.
  1. Duties and Responsibilities at Samarth

Samarth expects all employees to report cases of inappropriate behaviour to the Samarth Internal Complaints Committee to redress the harassment cases. It is unlawful and a violation of this policy to retaliate against anyone who in good faith reports inappropriate behaviour makes a complaint of alleged harassment or discrimination or cooperates in an investigation. This policy applies to all Samarth employees, whether they are at work, they are away at work, or they are attending organisation-sponsored social events or similar activities connected with their employment. This policy also prohibits harassment of Samarth employees by anyone, including any supervisor, co-worker, vendor, partner, client or customer. Samarth undertakes to provide all necessary facilities to enable the aggrieved man/woman, to attend, and to participate in the proceedings before the Samarth Internal Complaints Committee.

Where the respondent is an employee of a Partner Institution, Samarth shall provide meaningful assistance and support to the employee in seeking redress for an incident of sexual harassment.

Samarth assures that the filing of a complaint shall not adversely affect the terms and conditions of work of the aggrieved man/woman or in any other way alter the conditions of work of the aggrieved man/woman or witnesses concerned, to their prejudice, as a consequence of filing a complaint or participating in the inquiry. It further assures that no adverse or retaliatory action, such as transfer, loss of seniority, suspension, change in employment status, dismissal, intimidation, harassment etc. is taken against the employee for filing a complaint of sexual harassment or against any person for supporting a complaint of sexual harassment.

Samarth shall ensure the confidentiality and protection of the identity and address of the aggrieved man/woman, respondent and witnesses, is maintained and the same is not subject to disclosure.

Samarth shall also encourage that all its Partner Institutions, receiving funds or grants or expert assistance from Samarth, to formulate a policy against Sexual Harassment and institute the Committee Against Sexual Harassment mechanism at their Programme/workplace in accordance with Sexual Harassment of Men/Women at the Programme/ Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013.

4.     Policy statement

  • All employees will maintain high standards of dignity, respect and positive regard for one another in all their dealings.
  • All employees will understand and appreciate the rights of the individual to be treated with
  • All employees are required to maintain a work environment, which is free from any kind of
  • Employees will refrain from committing any acts of sexual harassment at work
  • Allegations of sexual harassment will be dealt seriously, expeditiously, sensitively, and with
  • Employees will be protected against victimization, retaliation for filing or reporting complaint on sexual harassment and will also be protected from false accusations.

5.     Procedure for dealing with complaints of sexual harassment

  • If the person believes that she/he has been subjected to sexual harassment, then the complaint/ grievance should be promptly reported to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC).
  • Ideally, the complaint should be lodged immediately or within a reasonable period 3 months from the date of incident/last incident.
  • All complaints / grievances of sexual harassment will be taken seriously, will be held in strict confidence and will be investigated promptly in an impartial
  • An “Internal Complaint Committee” will be set up to deal with the complaint. Not less than half of its members will be women, further to prevent any undue influence, the committee will also consist of a third party, either an NGO or any other body familiar with the issue of sexual harassment.
  • The complaint committee will thoroughly investigate the complaint / grievance and will take the necessary appropriate course of action.
  • Any victimization of, or retaliation against, the complainant or any Samarth employee who gives evidence regarding sexual harassment or bullying will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
  • In case, the complaint lodged is found to be false, malicious or forged and misleading documents have been produced, the ICC post investigations may recommend disciplinary action against the

6.       Disciplinary Action

In case any such conduct amounts to a specific offence under the Indian Penal Code or under any other law, the company shall initiate appropriate action in accordance with the law by lodging a complaint with the appropriate authority.

Sexual harassment will not be tolerated at company. If the outcome of an investigation by the Internal Complaints Committee shows that harassing behavior has taken place, the harasser will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

7.       Internal Complaint Committee (ICC)

The committee will be chaired by a senior female employee. In addition, the members would include at least two employee including an HR person and an external executive from any NGO or association committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment. The members of the committee will have a term of 3 years.

8.       Confidentiality

The contents of the complaint, the identity and addresses of the aggrieved staff member, respondent and witnesses, any information relating to conciliation and inquiry proceedings, recommendations of the Internal Committee and the action taken by Samarth shall not be published, communicated or made known to the public, press and media in any manner. All complaints / grievances of sexual harassment will be taken seriously, will be held in strict confidence and will be investigated promptly in an impartial manner. For the purpose of completing the investigation, key witnesses or other stakeholders may be required to be taken into confidence at the strict discretion of the Internal Committee.

9.     Members of Internal Complaint Committee (ICC)

Samarth has constituted its Internal Complaint Committee effective from Jun 25, 2023 and the new committee shall hold the office for three years.

The present Members of the ICC comprise of the following:

  • One Presiding Officer
  • Three employee members
  • One external member

The ICC shall have the power to sub-delegate their authority to a sub-committee of ICC. The Directors of Samarth may re-constitute the ICC as may be required from time to time, within the stipulated requirements under the Act.

10.   Applicability

The Policy  is operational as of date.