April 3, 2021 1:48:29 am
MEMBERS of the Indian Forest Service (IFS) Association of Maharashtra have decided to collect Rs 5 lakh for the family of Harisal Range Forest Officer (RFO) Deepali Chavan, who died by suicide on March 26. Chavan had accused her superior officer, Deputy Conservator of Forest Vinod Shivkumar, of harassing her at work.
The association members held a meeting here on Friday, where they expressed sympathy for the deceased RFO and said all supervising officers should behave appropriately with their subordinates.
President of the Association N Vasudevan, who is also Managing Director of Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra, told The Indian Express, “All the members expressed deep sympathy for RFO Deepali Chavan and decided to together contribute at least Rs 5 lakh for her family.”
“Members were unanimous about the incident being an aberration. They felt that it should not have happened. The general opinion was that the DCF should have been more sensitive while conducting himself with Chavan in matters of official work. Members felt that not just Shivkumar but all the supervisory staff, IFS as well as non-IFS, should be more careful about their conduct while getting the works executed. This is an occasion to introsoect and develop more compassionate approach at workplace,” Vasudevan said.
He added, “This episode should not be used to create IFS vs non-IFS feud. There is nothing like IFS vs non-IFS here.”
On questions being raised about the role of Melghat Field Director Srinivas Reddy in tackling the dispute between Chavan and Shivkumar, Vasudevan said, “The Head of Forest Force has constituted a committee to investigate his failings, if any, among many other things. Some of the association members felt that it would be unfair to preclude that Reddy was also responsible for what happened.”
Asked if the incident will have a negative impact on the relationship between senior officers and junior staffers, thereby affecting work, Vasudevan said, “Nobody thought so. Already, institutional mechanism is in place to deal with occasional problems. So, there shouldn’t be any problems for continuation of good work on the ground.”
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