HYDERABAD: The Telugu actress who stripped outside a film chamber office, last week, to make her complaint heard, has finally received support from the country's top human rights body that asked the Telangana government to probe allegations of sexual exploitation and casting couch in the Telugu film industry. The National Human Rights Commission also appeared to have taken a dim view of how the government charged Sri Reddy with obscenity but hadn't acted on her complaints.
Last Saturday, Sri had stripped in front of the Movie Artistes' Association building in the city to protest women from other parts of the country being given preference. She had later alleged that outsiders were more willing to trade sex for movie roles. The association had responded by declaring that she would not be given the membership that would have helped her get roles. The commission said in a statement, “But it is nowhere mentioned, if action on the serious allegations of casting couch and sexual harassment, leveled by her, has been taken by the authorities.”
The human rights body said it appeared that the action taken against her was “an attempt to muzzle the voice of whistle blower”, both, by the movie association and the state government. It also observed that the reported ban on the actress from working in the film industry was “violation of her right to livelihood and live a life with dignity.” The commission in its notice to the central and state government, said the film industry should have a committee to probe sexual harassment at work places. “The issues raised by the actress demand action on part of the state government,” the rights body said. It called for a committee to address and redress the grievances of female actors and employees in case of any sexual harassment at the work place.