The recent spurt in crime graph is not only giving sleepless nights to women, but also keeping the police on its toes.
To help women become more self-reliant, a social organisation is imparting free-of-cost training in self-defence to school and college-going girls.
“We have organised as many as seven camps of school and college-going girls. We train them in judo and karate, so that in case of assault, they can protect themselves and give a befitting reply to the miscreants through martial arts,” Rajinder Shingari, president of the local unit of the Bharat Swabhiman Trust & Pitanjali Yog Peeth, told Hindustan Times on Wednesday.
“We impart free-of-cost training in martial arts to girl students. We want them to tackle any assault or miscreant on their own and not be dependent on the police,” added Shingari, accompanying by Sukhdev, one of the key organisers of such camps.
Sharing her experience, Amanpreet Kaur (22), resident of Shahkot, who underwent training by the trust, said, “I was recently attacked by three youths. They tried to snatch my mobile phone, but I put up a good fight and gave them powerful punches. The trio were forced to flee.”
“The five-day training in martial arts has helped develop my self-confidence. I don’t fear men and can give a befitting reply to anybody now,” she added.
Talking on similar lines, Manjot Kaur of Punia village in Shahkot, said, “A few days ago, when I was on my way to the school, three youths starting chasing me. I did not panic and gave them a sound beating.”
“I learnt karate to protect myself. People in my village know about the martial art. I’ve gained confidence and nobody dares to make a pass at me,” she added.
Karate coach Daljit Singh Rerwan said, “I attained a Black Belt in Karate and have trained as many as 5,000 girls from economically backward families.”
“My aim is to impart training to at least 50,000 girls and for that, I’m willing to sacrifice any financial gain,” he added.
He said under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, there was a provision and allocated budget to impart training to girl students in self-defence.
Stating that he had also trained his eight-year-old daughter, Gurvir Kaur, in martial arts, Rerwan added, “Now my daughter trains girl students of her age in the village.”
“Though there are some karate schools in the city, they charge hefty fees making it not possible for poor girls to enrol and seek training,” he said.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that products such as pepper sprays have been launched for the self-defence of women, a move being encouraged by the police
Set up special courts to deal with such casesOur judicial system is to be blamed to some extent. Everyone knows that justice will prevail but it takes time. The waiting period is full of humiliation and the victim loses self confidence. Though many NGOs and women cells are there, nobody is bother to give respect to the victim or care about her pain. People don't see the victim as normal human being but always throw spotlight on her. The last resort is parents. All these issues force the victim to remain confined the four walls.
Nidhi Arora, graphic designer
Girls who formally complain to police are not treated fairly by officials. Most of times, the questions asked by police are humiliating like 'about the clothes she was wearing' or 'what was she doing at the spot,' etc .The fear of such questions stops the girl from approaching police. We find that women don't hesitate to share their tale with media or on social networking sites but they think 100 times before going to police. There is need to set up special courts and women police who can deal with such cases.
Vandana Dalia, student
Every Indian woman has stories of eve-teasing and unwanted groping to tell. In the modern era, women have held high offices, including the President, Prime Minister, Speaker and Leader of Opposition, etc. However, women continue to face harassment in the form of rape, acid attack, dowry killing, etc. They avoid going for a justice. Even parents don't support a victim because they fear that it may harm their reputation in society. They also think that it will have a negative impact on the girl's future.
Vijayta Taneja Kapoor, assistant professor
Girls who have faced sexual harassment are put in a place in our society where rape victims were placed in the past. They are at the receiving end of the system, which is supposed to protect them and help them live with dignity. This factor contributes to the passive response of the society to the sexual harassment faced by women. The behaviour of society should also be checked as most people don't see the victims of crime against women with respect as if it was their fault that they were targeted by sexual predators.
Shivangi Dhir, Student
As per law, sexual abuse is a crime but it is interpreted in a biased manner, where a victim is always perceived as a culprit and not a sufferer. If she expresses it publicly, instead of getting justice she is tagged as an immoral woman. Besides the conservative mindset of the family and society also becomes a hindrance towards seeking justice. Every family wants that the marriage of their daughter is conducted in a respectful manner, so this mindset also proves crucial in the cases of sexual abuse.
Priya Arora, student With the passage of time, the police have apparently become invisible in society. Most of the times, girls who are victims of sexual harassment do not prefer going to police to lodge a complaint because they don't want to be the centre of the unwanted attention. Furthermore, they feel that transforming the small incident into a major issue will cause trouble for them. Another reason is that as of now, a first-information report cannot be lodged easily, which desists most of the victims from approaching police.
Mehak Chauhan, student
When a woman or girl who is a victim of either rape or sexual harassment, the main reason that the complaint is not discussed with the police is that the victim thinks that cops are not trustworthy. However, the police department also does not show keen interest on arresting the culprits immediately after a case is registered. This is another reason that keeps the victim girl away from approaching police. She feels uncomfortable in going to police to lodge a complaint in the sexual harassment case.
Shilpa, project director