Central government ministries have disposed of 45 of the 141 complaints of sexual harassment that have been lodged with them since 2017, the Centre told the Rajya Sabha on Friday. Minister of State for the Women and Child Development Virendra Kumar said the largest number of complaints were received by the Ministry of Finance at 21.

Kumar said the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Defence had received 16 complaints each, the Ministry of Railways 14 complaints and the Women and Child Development Ministry 12 complaints. The minister said the private sector disposed 29 of the 169 complaints it received in the same period.

The ministries have been requested to organise workshops and awareness programmes on sexual harassment as well as the legal provisions available. “All state governments/Union Territories administrations have also been requested to advise their secretaries of industries and commerce departments to organise similar workshops and awareness programmes in industries, business houses and private sector entities,” he said.

Since October 5, dozens of women have taken to social media to give detailed accounts of the sexual harassment and misconduct they have faced across several sectors such as advertising, Tamil and Hindi film industries, the field of arts, music and dance, publishing, journalism, sports, religion and non-profit organisations.