The Spring Festival this year marked the debut of young, spirited girls performing gatka at Yavanika Gardens, Panchkula.
The girls named Nidhi Chauhan and Kamal, though not Sikh, have been practising the art for the past three years.
For Nidhi, a third-year college student, her regular visits to gurdwaras evoked her interest in gatka. “At my every visit to the gurdwara, just observing those performing gatka helped me develop an interest and soon I was learning the martial art.”
“Though my family was against the idea initially, they soon came to terms with it and have allowed me to learn it as part of self-defence training,” she added.
Kamal, a Class-7 student, said the martial art had nothing to do with religion. “My family wasn’t comfortable with the idea of me taking up this martial art, but when they observed youngsters performing it during nagar kirtans, they allowed me to give it a shot as part of self-defence training,” said Kamal.