In the wake of the mass molestation at Bengaluru, which sent shock waves to the nation, colleges in Delhi University (DU) are going a step ahead by encouraging students to enrol for self-defence classes, and some are even imparting skill development training to empower.
“We’re running a 15-day self-defence program in collaboration with Delhi police. The Bengaluru incident made us realise that we will have to take responsibility for our own safety,” says Hemant Ghai, a second year B Sc (H) student of Kirori Mal College (KMC), “What happened that night was not only sad but was also a wake up call. This is an initiative on our part to urge the authority to bring bold changes, and to also empower our students at the same time. We want people to stop playing the blame game.”
The program has been initiated by National Service Scheme (NSS) unit of Kirori Mal College under their women empowerment program Sahas. Started on January 9, the program was conceived after the Bengaluru mass molestation case. “We want to make a change in whatever way possible and keeping that in mind, the program is open to all – not just college students. A nominal registration amount of Rs 100 which will be provided as a refreshment to the trainees,” adds Ghai.
Hindu college too has initiated a self-defence and skill development program called Project Veerangana. An initiative of Enactus Hindu, the program imparts basic self-defence training for women and also helps them to turn their self-defence skills into a source of livelihood.
“The objective of our project is not to just impart self-defence training to women but also help them become young entrepreneurs so that they can market their skills for a basic livelihood and teach more women how to be safe,” says Vishruti Jain, president of Enactus Hindu College.
The training of women under the age group of 16-25 has begun in the New Ashok Nagar slum area. Under a
three-tier process, the first 10 days saw a workshop conducted by the special police unit for women and children in association with Evergreen Public School. The self-defence workshop included 40 school students and 30 women from the slum area. After the training process, these women will in turn impart lessons to the other women under the supervisions of colleges and schools.
The next step is to impart soft skills to the group by introducing them to concepts of entrepreneurship and teaching them about time management, communication, and so on. For the final and ongoing step, the group is getting trained under the guidance of experienced martial arts trainers. The young women will then spread their skills in the form of workshops in various schools, colleges, and housing complexes, from where they will earn money via a nominal fee.
“This may not be much but it is something. Not only will these women become empowered themselves, they will help others too. In current times, every small step counts,” finishes Jain.
The NSS Unit of Satyawati college is also organising a 15-day self-defence training program from 20th January to 8 February in association with Delhi Police Ashok Vihar Police station.With increasing molestation cases, the students felt it’s important for women to know self defence. Rashi Nimi, the NSS vice president of Satywati College says, “Crime is increasing day-by-day and so are the numbers of molestation cases. In such times, it is important that women be empowered in whatever way they can be. The students are very happy that such programs are being conducted, and if the response is good, we will organise it again.”