Karate black belt holder Diljeet Kaur (23) and another trainer Rani Kharodiya (17) take free classes on self-defence for hearing and speech impaired children. They have been taking classes for around 80 such students every day at an electronic complex in Pardeshipura area of the city for the past one year.
“Open a newspaper and every day we will find cases being reported wherein a child with speech and hearing disability is a victim to crimes ranging from rape, molestation to abuse. These children can never raise voice or even resist,” said Diljeet.
“I did not have a decent source of income. When I started earning through karate classes, I realised that it’s time I give back to society what I have earned. Making monetary contribution was not possible for these students so I decided to help them by taking classes,” said Rani, who juggles between her school and karate classes.
Both use sign languages to train the students in self-defence. “Being a girl I know how difficult it is to tolerate abuse ranging from a simple remark on the street to being leeched at. I can still raise an alarm, but these children cannot even do that. So training is important for them,” said Diljit.
“We would often hear about cases wherein a child with special needs would be assaulted. It would make me wonder about the trauma the child would suffer from as she could not even raise an alarm. Trying to register an FIR and other police formalities were issues which would harass them later. We then requested the two (Diljit and Rani) to teach these students,” said Bharati Mandole, founder director of the Eva Welfare organisation that conducts the classes.
Gyanendra Purohit, co-ordinator of the Madhya Pradesh police deaf and dumb helpline, said, “We have registered over 1000 cases since the inception of our cell. 80% of these cases are sexual crimes wherein the victim could not raise an alarm. Even today a case of rape with a speech and hearing impaired girl has come from Damoh. Teaching these students on self-defence will be of immense help.” The cell was set up in 2002.
Children with special needs are being taught Preventive steps — avoiding lonely areas and dimly lit subways. They are being taught how to target soft areas of the attacker, basics of martial arts like Wrist hold, Front and Back choke, Bear hug and Mount position.