About Us

About Us

What is Kadam?

Kadam is an online platform aimed at empowering students to tackle sexual harassment at higher educational institutions. The tools and resources available on the website enable students to exercise their agency and their capacity to create safer and more inclusive colleges and universities. On this platform students in higher education institutions can speak and act against sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual abuse taking place at their institutions. 

We believe that when students and survivors of sexual harassment exercise their agency, it nurtures institutions that have zero-tolerance towards sexual harassment. 

Our approach involves a focus on spreading awareness about the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, commonly known as the PoSH Act, 2013, and the legally mandated redress mechanisms available under it, fostering a belief in the power of collective action and community building. As such, this platform can be used as a starting point by students who wish to learn about the law addressing  sexual harassment at workplace and their institutions’ (non) compliance to the law.

Students can register themselves on this platform as Voice Champions or Survivors. A Voice Champion is a student who understands how to apply the PoSH Act to college campuses. A Voice Champion will use this knowledge to take steps towards making their college campus safer, and college authorities accountable for their duties under the law. Survivors are students who have experienced sexual harassment, sexual abuse or sexual assault in their colleges or universities.

What is/isn’t accountability?

Accountability is a practice of addressing harm by taking responsibility for our contribution to and/or complicity in the harms caused by our actions. The term can be used to own up to our actions. It is “essentially saying, I made you feel unsafe, how do you think I can make it up to you for the harm, pain and trauma I caused?” 1 

However, asking someone to take accountability for something is not about inflicting shame or canceling someone.2

What is agency?

We understand agency as an individual’s ability to decide and act to fulfill their potential based on one’s own volition independent of the fear of retribution.

What are the differences between sexual harassment and sexual assault?

The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (“IPC”) Section 354 discusses sexual assault as criminal force towards a woman with the intention to outrage her modesty, similarly Section 509 talks about the intention of insulting the modesty of a woman by word, gesture or act. 

However, the offence of sexual harassment was inserted in IPC by the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013 through Section 354A stating that sexual harassment is the unwelcome physical contact and advances or demand or request for sexual favours or showing pornography or making sexually coloured remarks.

1 Stephen, Anna. “On Accountability & Apology: Navigating Harm Done & Impending Justice.” In Feminism In India, 2021. https://feminisminindia.com/2021/04/09/accountability-apology-justice/

2 Russo, Ann. “Building Communities.” In Feminist Accountability: Disrupting Violence and Transforming Power, 19–40. NYU Press, 2019. http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctvwrm4mg.4.

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