PIL filed over sex abuse in Tollywood

Seven women activists have moved a public interest litigation before the Hyderabad High Court questioning the state government for not taking any steps, including appointing a high level committee, against alleged sexual exploitation in the Telugu film industry.

The PIL was moved by Ms P. Sandhya of the Progressive Women Organisation, journalist K. Sajaya, cultural activist P.A. Devi, social activists Kondaveeti Satyavati, Makkapati Sumitra and researchers Dr A.S.R.V. Suneetha and Tejaswini Madhabhushi.

Referring to the incident of actress Sri Reddy stripping in the city on April 7 to protest exploitation of women in Tollywood, the petitioners told the court that they had represented the matter to the cinematography minister on April 12 and requested him to intervene and appoint a high-level committee to inquire into the complaints being made by women artistes.

Following this, scores of artistes from the lower rungs of the film industry had spoken out on their woes about the hazards of working in the Telugu film industry, they said. The petitioners said one of the biggest hazards that women artistes complained about was the quid pro quo nature of work where they could secure a role only if they consented to granting sexual favours.

They urged the court to direct the government to immediately constitute a committee to go into the matter of sexual exploitation in the film industry.

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