Chief minister Nitish Kumar called upon girls of the state to take up martial arts along with their education to defend themselves against eve teasers and other anti-social elements.
"Girls should learn all forms of martial arts such as judo, karate and taekwondo to acquire physical strength, quick reflexes and alertness for selfdefence," he said even as he inaugurated the 31st Senior National Taekwondo Championships at the Pataliputra Sports Complex here on Tuesday.
"We want to make the new generation strong through sports and martial arts training.
For achieving the goal, the state government started martial arts training in schools across Bihar a few years ago.
Over one lakh schoolgirls learnt the basic martial arts through this programme," said Nitish adding that he also wanted to include judo and karate training along with taekwondo for boys and girls in the schools.
"The martial arts training in village schools brought about a sea change as several girls participated in various tournaments held abroad and brought laurels for the state," he said.
Presiding over the function, art, culture and youth affairs minister Sukhda Pandey reiterated the government's commitment to overall development of sports in the state.
She said the state had hosted several national and international tournaments in the past two years with full support and motivation from the chief minister.
"We want proper coordination between the government and sports associations to take Bihar sports to the next level," she said.
Welcoming the guests, Taekwondo Federation of India president Harish Kumar said 38 teams from different parts of the country were participating in the three-day event.
"We have more than five lakh taekwondo players in the country and hope to take it to 15 lakh in the next couple of years, equalling the strength of Korea," he said.
TFI president also presented mementos to chief minister Nitish Kumar and art, culture and youth affairs minister Sukhda Pandey.
Bihar Taekwondo Association secretary Ajay Kumar proposed a vote of thanks.