Three days into her job, a teacher at a reputed Bengaluru-based day care centre was sacked after she complained to the management of alleged sexual harassment by the security guard. Now her fight is not only against the guard, but also against the management, which she claims acted in an insensitive manner to a serious issue.
Kalyani*, joined Little Millennium School in Whitefield on Wednesday, July 27. Just days into her job, she started receiving calls, from the school’s security guard, Pankaj, asking for sexual favours, she claims. When she brought this to the school’s notice, they forced her to delete all the recorded calls, she says.
“The same should not happen with another staff or worse still even a child. Why did the school act in such an irresponsible manner, just to protect their school’s image? Wouldn’t it have ended smoothly if they had sacked the guard and filed a case against him? Now there has been so much delay, the accused is absconding because of the management,” she said.
“On July 30 and 31, the accused security guard repeatedly called me. Pankaj spoke in Hindi. He kept saying “Come to me and make me happy”. I warned him and hung up. He kept calling. I put him on loudspeaker so that my mother could also hear,” alleged 32-year-old Kalyani.
“If this wasn’t enough, when I went to school and informed the manager Simi, she took away my phone after I showed her the recorded calls. After the principal Geetha came, they took me to a room and forced me to delete the recordings saying it will sabotage the school’s reputation. I deleted after they locked me up for half an hour. Later they asked me to take class. Half way through, both came in and handed me Rs 1000 and asked me to leave the school,” Kalyani said.
Kalyani says she was dumbfounded at their behaviour and felt insulted when they asked her to leave in front of other teachers. “They treated me as if I was the fallen woman,” she said.
Asked how the guard got her number, she said, “When I went for the interview, I was asked to leave my phone number with the security guard.”
Kalyani also alleged that the police hesitated to take a complaint on Thursday.
After the National Human Rights Commission’s intervention, the police took the complaint against the security guard and the school management.
Isaac who is working with NHRC, said that there were more violations on the part of the school.
Kalyani says that the principal called her on Thursday asking her to come back to work as if nothing had happened.
“She asked me why I hadn’t come to work to which I told her that she neither asked me to come back nor did I say that I would. I don’t plan on going back because who wants to work with such insensitive people. And who will guarantee I won’t be in trouble again?” she said.
Kalyani says she is hell-bent on getting justice.
“ After I registered a complaint, they started apologising to me and asked me to come back to work. I am not going to budge. They have to give a concrete reason as to why they insulted and removed me from the job,” she said.
Principal of Little Millennium School Whitefield, Geetha, told The News Minute that the school never asked Kalyani to leave, contrary to what the teacher claimed.
Geetha did not answer all of the questions that TNM posed. She claimed, "We never sacked her nor did we give her any money. She was the one who asked us for Rs 1000 if we wanted her to delete the recordings."
Geetha asked us to mail the rest of the questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, which as it turns out, is a non-existent email address.
(*Name changed to protect identity.)