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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

Wary city schools to give students self-defence classes

Aakriti Vasudeva, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 23, 2013
First Published: 00:37 IST(23/1/2013) | Last Updated: 00:39 IST(23/1/2013)

Alarmed by the brutal gangrape of a 23-year-old woman last month, private schools are leaving no stone unturned to ensure the safety of their students.

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Schools across the Capital are conducting special self-defence training sessions and sexual abuse awareness workshops for children starting from as young as 10 years old.

Schools said they already have in-house programmes on gender sensitisation and awareness workshops but the gruesome incident has brought forward the need for more focused attention on the issue and the need to address it regularly.

Keeping this in mind, Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar is organising a special awareness programme on sexual abuse to be conducted by the National Commission for Women for its students from class 7 to 11 in February.

Also, for the first time, Ahlcon International School is tying up with various organisations to conduct sessions, especially for girl students from class 6 to 11, on how they can protect themselves from such incidents and building their confidence.

Alarmed over the rape incident, Laxman Public School has even turned its optional taekwondo class into a self-defense workshop and made it compulsory for all girls from class 4 onwards.

LV Sehgal, principal of Bal Bharti Public School, Pusa Road, which will conduct self-defence sessions for its students and which has received a request from the PTA to train students’ mothers as well, said there was a need for schools to address the issue from all angles.

“Apart from preparing our girls physically to safeguard themselves against such acts, we should also teach our boys to respect the opposite sex. Concerted efforts are required in this direction and all teachers must be involved in it,” he said.

Other schools have intensified their efforts through discussion of these issues in the school assembly, through games and even including this as a part of the Life Skills module.

“After the incident, there has been a lot of sensitisation through conversation, dialogue and signature campaigns. So, we are just reiterating and affirming the same message,” said Ameeta Wattal, principal, Springdales School, Pusa Road.


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