HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

Jolted by gangrape, Delhi women learning to kick and punch

Aakriti Vasudeva, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 01, 2013
First Published: 23:44 IST(1/1/2013) | Last Updated: 02:01 IST(2/1/2013)

Self-defence classes have become a big rage in the city, as young girls and women seek ways to protect themselves following the gangrape incident.


Such training classes across the city have been getting an encouraging response from women who do not want to remain dependent on others for protection any more. "After the gangrape incident, we have been receiving a lot of calls from women wanting to learn self-defence. We teach basic techniques like locking, unlocking, using common items such dupatta, bags and pen for protection apart from martial arts," said Bharat Sharma of Karate India, which has a dedicated self-defence class for women.

"Even schools, colleges and BPO companies are calling us to conduct classes for them," he said.

Justice for Women, an organisation that conducts self-defence workshops across the country, has received a very encouraging response for registration to their upcoming workshop in Delhi in February.

"Women are realising now that self-dependence is the biggest defence one can put up in a hostile situation. The authorities may or may not help later, but during an attack, it's only yourself and people around you that can protect you. The Delhi bus gangrape case has brought the reality home that no one is safe. This fear has transformed into a will for women to become independent and fight for their rights," said founder Sakshi Kumar.

Jaipreet Joshi, an ex-army officer and chief instructor at Fitcomb Gurgaon, says that although there has been a lot of interest among women in learning self-defence, it has not necessarily resulted in enrollment. "I think women are still in a state of suspended animation. They have started thinking about it but are not necessarily acting on it," Joshi said.

Joshi says their defence classes are based on reality and do not teach complicated techniques or martial arts, rather they teach concepts that can be used in a real-life distress situation.

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