Tell us a little bit about the audience the workshops attract.
The POSH workshops attract trainers from all fields
Muhammed Rafeeque: They attract a lot of non-legal people. Our audience comprises the trainers, counsellors, and people working in HR, administration, operations and sales, marketing and finance. They find this course interesting because it is simple and gives them the knowledge the way they comprehend. Take, for example, the definition of ‘Workplace’ under POSH Act is too wide and it’s deliberate. It is more than the four walls of an office structure. The definition is provided keeping in view of the present working culture of corporate. The ‘work from home’ is part of the workplace, today. So, when you just read out this definition, the participants would lose the relevance, you need to show the purpose of it. Therefore, we explain the purpose of the law than just ‘law’
Why do you focus on POSH and POCSO?
Muhammed Rafeeque: Because we believe that the sexual harassment against women and children are the most heinous crimes and we should make the people aware of the consequences. We have two signature programs for training the trainers. One is POSH and the other is POCSO.
Both of these laws mandate employers to make their employees aware of the legal consequences. POSH normally focuses on sexual harassment of women at their workplace. The POSH Act 2013 mandates every corporate to give the awareness to each and every employee i.e. from peon to chairman. Not adhering to the mandate can be considered as non-compliance and the corporate shall be penalized by the authorities. Similarly, the POCSO Act 2012 is applicable to all educational institutions, orphanages or any similar institutions with children below 18 years. POCSO also requires some mandatory training for the staff and students.
We started providing training for both these laws in schools and to corporates and realized that we didn’t have sufficient trainers in our country. To overcome this, we decided to create trainers. We designed a two-day program to Train the Trainers (TTT). The idea was to engage freelance trainers who provide soft skills, marketing or sales training. We were able to train non-legal trainers to conduct legal workshops on POSH. Today, while looking back, we are glad that we have an excellent group of trainers in our network across the country.
We have conducted the workshops in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Pune, Ahmedabad, Kochi. With 17 classroom-training and 240 trainers, over 100 trainers have started conducting independent workshops on POSH. We have created a network of trainers across the country.