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HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times
Ghaziabad, January 31, 2013
Sunita Pangti underwent intensive training in martial arts, Vaishali Bargoti always keeps a pepper spray handy while Shikha Nayak has downloaded mobile apps for help in emergency situations.

With rising crime in the city and the inability of the police to provide adequate security, a growing tribe of women are taking their safety in their own hands.

Pangti, a senior manager with a blue-chip multinational company and residing in Indirapuram, says she feels more confident after undergoing the training.

"This is the best defence technique a woman can learn to protect herself from molesters and chain snatchers. One cannot always reach out to friends or family members for help. Being trained in martial arts, I recently foiled a man's attempt at trying to snatch my mobile phone. The passersby later beat him badly," she said.

Then there's Menka Barla, a young college student who has to negotiate the streets in the crime-prone Baghpat area in western Uttar Pradesh. She is presently undergoing Karate training in Ghaziabad.

"I feel secure and know that I can handle at least a single attacker with ease," she says.

After the December 16 gang rape of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi, many women have invested in pepper sprays and knives.

"Trouble can arrive at any time. Therefore, I have started keeping a pepper spray with me. I feel that I can save myself in emergency situations," said Vaishali Bargoti, an MNC employee and a resident of Sector 2 in Vaishali.

A lot of women have taken the tech route to defend themselves.

"I have downloaded an app that helps me to immediately send a message for help to five emergency numbers in times of trouble. I always ensure that my mobile is fully charged before I leave home," said Shikha Nayak, a teacher.