Community Guidelines

Prevention of Sexual Harassment / Misconduct (POSH) Policy

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram Trust

1. Introduction
This policy is formulated, approved and adopted by the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram Trust (“the SYVDA” or the “Organisation”) in terms of the provisions of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, as may be amended from time to time (“the Act”) and other regulations including the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The Policy may be amended from time to time as provided under the Act and any applicable laws.

2. Scope:
The policy shall be applicable and extend to all the persons (including employees, consultants, teachers, students, guests, instructors and visitors) who are present at the workplace of SYVDA.

3. Definitions:

3.1. “Act” shall mean the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, as may be amended from time to time read together with the rules made there under

3.2. “Partner” shall mean the Partners of SYVDA

3.3. “Internal Complaints Committee” or “ICC” shall mean the Internal Complaints Committee formed under this policy

3.4. “Member” shall mean the Member of the Internal Complaints Committee formed under this policy

3.5. “Organisation” or “SYVDA” shall mean Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram Trust, including its associates, subsidiaries and joint ventures present or future

3.6. “Policy” shall mean this Prevention of Sexual Harassment Policy including its Annexure and exhibits and such other documents forming part of the Policy

3.7. “Sexual Harassment” means any one or more of the following unwelcome acts or behaviour:

3.7.1. Physical contact and advances; or

3.7.2. A demand or request for sexual favours; or

3.7.3. Making sexually coloured remarks; or

3.7.4. Showing pornography; or

3.7.5. Any other unwelcome physical, verbal, non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.

3.8. Further, the following circumstances may amount to sexual harassment if it occurs or is present in relation to any other act of Sexual Harassment:

3.8.1. Implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in the Organisation;

3.8.2. Implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment in the Organisation;

3.8.3. Implied or explicit threat about present or future association with the Organisation;

3.8.4. Interference with activities or creating an intimidating or offensive or hostile environment; or

3.8.5. Humiliating treatment likely to affect health or safety.

3.9. “Workplace” shall mean the premises of SYVDA including the registered office, corporate office, branch office, parking space, transportation including an ashram, yoga centre, hospital or shop provided by SYVDA, any place visited by any person involved in SYVDA’s activities for the purpose of or in the course of such activities and any such area, building, place or space as may be specified by the SYVDA in this regard.

4. Interpretations:

4.1. Unless the context otherwise requires, words denoting the singular shall include the plural and vice versa and words importing a particular gender shall include all genders;

4.2. A reference to a clause, annexure or schedule is, unless indicated to the contrary, a reference to a clause, annexure or schedule to this Policy;

4.3. References to this Policy shall be construed to include any reference to Annexure to this Policy;

4.4. The words “other”, or “otherwise” and “whatsoever” shall not be construed ejusdem generis or be construed as any limitation upon the generality of any preceding words or matters specifically referred to; and

4.5. In addition to the terms defined in the description of the Parties: (a) all capitalized words and expressions defined by inclusion in quotation and / or parenthesis anywhere in this Agreement shall have the same meaning as ascribed to such words and expressions; and (b) unless the context otherwise requires, the terms and expressions defined shall bear the meanings as set out in Clause 1 and the General Clauses Act, 1897.

5. Prohibition of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace
The Organisation has a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to any instance of Sexual Harassment. Sexual Harassment at the Workplace, whether during or after office hours, is strictly prohibited under law and this policy. It is clarified that ‘workplace’ also includes any place visited in the course of or arising from activities in which any person is engaged with the organisation, including transportation provided by the Organisation (if applicable).

6. Internal Complaints Committee
The Organisation has constituted an Internal Complaints Committee (“ICC”) to investigate into allegations of Sexual harassment at the Workplace. SYVDA reserves the right to add to, remove or replace the ICC members from time to time.
The constitution, working, manner of disposal is briefed in this policy and detailed herein as Annexure A to this Policy.

7. Dissemination:
The Policy including the Annexure(s) shall be mandatorily provided to every person at the beginning of their engagement with SYVDA and such person shall acknowledge in writing that he/she has read the contents of the Policy and has fully understood the Policy.
Further, the details of the ICC and such details as specified in the Act shall be displayed prominently at a conspicuous place in the premises of SYVDA.

8. Complaint

8.1. Any person engaged in activities with the Organisation who alleges to have been subjected to any act of Sexual Harassment at the workplace may make a complaint to the ICC.

8.2. The aggrieved person may request the ICC to provide reasonable assistance for making the complaint in writing.

8.3. In case the complainant is under any physical or mental incapacity, the complaint can be made by the legal heir or any other person authorized in writing by the complainant.

8.4. The complaint should be made in writing or via email to the ICC as soon as possible, not later than 3 months from the date of occurrence of the incident alleged to constitute Sexual Harassment (in case of a series of incidents, within a period of 3 months from the date of the last incident).

8.5. Hard copy complaints should be submitted to Kalyani, Assistant Director, Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram, Neyyar Dam PO, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India 659 572 and email complaints should be sent to [email protected].

8.6. All complaints, whether in hard-copy or email form, should be clear and should include details of the incident or incidents, supporting documents, names of individuals involved and the name and addresses of the witnesses.

8.7. The ICC may extend the time limit not exceeding three months, if it is satisfied that there were unavoidable circumstances which prevented the aggrieved person from filing a complaint within the said period.

8.8. Any manager or employee who becomes aware of an incident of Sexual Harassment should promptly report the same to the ICC.
8.9. If the complainant would like to initiate action under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC), he/she may inform the ICC of the same, and the Organisation shall provide necessary assistance to file such complaint.

9. Conciliation
Before the ICC initiates an inquiry into the complaint, the complainant may request the ICC to settle the matter between the complainant and the respondent through conciliation before initiating an inquiry. However, no monetary statement shall be made on the basis of the conciliation. In the event a settlement has been reached, further inquiry shall not be conducted.

10. Inquiry

10.1. All claims of sexual harassment will be promptly and thoroughly investigated in accordance with the principles of natural justice and other provisions of the law.

10.2. Neither the complainant nor the respondent shall be allowed to bring in any legal practitioner to represent them in their case at any stage of proceedings before the ICC.

10.3. The ICC shall submit an enquiry report to the Organisation’s authorized representative upon conclusion of the inquiry.

10.4. The report of the ICC shall be deemed to be the enquiry report for purposes of any disciplinary rules applicable to the person against whom a sexual harassment claim was made.

10.5. Where the ICC determines that the allegation against the respondent has been proved, it may recommend to the Organisation to take action for sexual harassment in accordance with the provisions of the Organisation’s applicable policies.

11. Confidentiality

11.1. Complaints of sexual harassment shall be treated with sensitivity and confidentiality.

11.2. Contents of the complaint, the identity and addresses of the complainant, respondent and witnesses, any information relating to conciliation and inquiry proceedings, recommendations of the ICC and the action taken by the Organisation shall be treated as confidential.
11.3. If any person entrusted with the duty to handle the complaint, inquiry or any recommendations of the ICC, contravenes his/her confidentiality obligation, he/she shall be liable to disciplinary action, in accordance with the provisions of the Organisation’s policies, as applicable.