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Workforce confidence shaken after Delhi rape

Posted on Dec 24, 07:19PM | IBNS

The horrendous rape case in Delhi and the national outrage which followed has shaken the confidence of workforce not only in the NCR region but also in other major cities, reveals an ASSOCHAM survey among 2500 men and women. Almost 88 per cent of the women respondents said they have started getting more calls while at work from home-parents or husbands -after the incident. The anxiety is more among the guardians of those women who travel by chartered buses.

Those who use the Delhi Metro feel relatively secure as long as they are within the premises of the metro stations. However, the moment they de-board the train, the anxiety levels of their guardians increase as the infrastructure from the stations to the colonies is found lacking.

About 74 per cent of those participated in the survey in Gurgaon, Noida, Delhi, Sonepat and Faridabad said they have begun insisting on leaving offices on dot, immediately after duty hours following the atmosphere of insecurity.

While the confidence has also been affected even among the office-goers and the workforce in other cities of Bangalore, Hyderbad, Chennai, they felt relatively better off than those staying in the NCR region.

To a question whether the police personnel would improve their vigil after the outrage, a vast majority of the survey participants said, there would some knee-jerk reaction and things would return to 'business as usual' after the media attention gets shifted elsewhere.

However, most of them felt that it was time the quality of governance improved and the obsession of the Police "bandobast" with the VVIPs changed.

Expressing shock and grief over the deteriorating law and order problem in the NCR region, ASSOCHAM Secretary General D.S. Rawat said, "It is not difficult to wire the major and vulnerable parts of the region with CCTVs, which should be properly monitored and action taken. The fear of law must be instilled among those who are prone to commit heinous crime."

Besides, he said accountability must be fixed not among the junior functionaries but among the higher-ups. Those found guilty of incompetence and complacency should be simply sacked.

"The fear of losing job would work," he said.

A key finding of the ASSOCHAM survey was if the confidence of workforce is shaken, the NCR region would lose its eminent position among even investors.

"After all, human resource is a key ingredient for any industrial activity and their welfare has to be a priority," said Rawat.

The respondents also wanted company HR departments to devise new ways of ensuring that the staff security is enhanced, especially among those who work on night duties.

The public transport has been found lacking forcing the workforce to depend on unauthorized modes of transport like the cab drivers, buses without permits.

"We need to pump in massive investment in the public transport. It is a pity that a project of Airport Metro worth over Rs 10,000 crore has been junked for several months. There has to be a sense of urgency among the operators and the authority to put the project back on the rail," the chamber said.

Almost half of the capital city at night is not well-lighted while the authorities pass the buck from one to the other. "A vast majority of women respondents in the survey said they felt really scared when they pass through the ill-lighted streets at night."

ASSOCHAM said it is urging its member companies to seriously consider spending part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) budget on improving the street infrastructure, even when the civic authorities are not expected to abdicate their primary responsibility.