A woman has written to the National Commission for Women (NCW) accusing the IIT-Indore administration of mentally harassing her and forcing her to resign from the liaisoning officer’s post at the institute.
Vani Venkat, who had joined the IIT on April 18 on one-year contract, put in her papers, allegedly under pressure from the administration, a couple of days ago.
In her letter to the NCW, Venkat wrote: “I got a termination which said that since I am on leave due to personal problems (read death in family and my surgery), I may be terminated. When I wrote back stating I have always applied in advance/informed (in the event of an emergency) and submitted all medical and other papers, I was asked to come down and have a talk. When I made a representation, with proof, it was dismissed and I was forced to resign.”
She alleged that while the institute released her last month’s salary “after too many requests”, it immediately blocked her email id that had “all the proofs”.
Venkat told HT on Monday that she had faced mental harassment at the hands of her reporting manager in the form of comments ranging from remarks on her personal life to asking her to report at the institute at odd hours.
“As soon as I joined, there were two deaths in my family. I applied for leave for which I was entitled. But my reporting manager asked me to click pictures of the dead bodies as proof,” she alleged.
“I was no fresher. I had earlier worked with IIT-Bombay and IIM-Lucknow handling corporate communications. I had a lot of experience, but they (IIT-Indore) were not professional at all. Imagine the situation of freshers and research scholars now.”
The institute, though, did not comment on Venkat’s allegations, it indirectly blamed her for the situation citing her long, frequent absence from work.
“Vani Venkat was appointed in April, and in the four months of her tenure at IIT-Indore, she has attended office for four weeks because of personal constraints/commitments,” Nirmala Menon, the institute’s media coordinator, told HT in a mail. “The institute could not, at this juncture, afford someone who was not hands on the job (a sensitive and responsible position) and hence we accepted her resignation.”