Mamata Banerjee govt to introduce self defence workshop for women in undergrad colleges | Hindustan Times
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Mamata Banerjee govt to introduce self defence workshop for women in undergrad colleges

Every year the workshop will be held for three weeks in every college with female students. Women teachers too can participate.

kolkata Updated: Aug 08, 2017 13:56 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Many educational institutes in the country impart lessons in self-defence techniques. Bengal is one of very few states that has taken it up as a government policy.
Many educational institutes in the country impart lessons in self-defence techniques. Bengal is one of very few states that has taken it up as a government policy.(HT Photo)

At a time when atrocities against women are hogging headlines around the country, the Mamata Banerjee government has decided to launch a self-defence workshop in undergraduate colleges in Bengal. The project will be a part of the chief minister’s pet girl child welfare project Kanyashree.

Every year, a three- eek workshop on self defence techniques will be conducted in these colleges. The programme will be open for participation by the women teachers too. 

Read: Bengal violence: Mamata Banerjee should do some soul searching

The Directorate of Public Instruction (DPI), under the state higher education department, has forwarded a notice to all government-run and government-aided colleges to start self defence programmes.

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee receiving the UN award for Kanyashree in The Hague on June 23, 2017. (Facebook)

“The chief minister has recently announced extension of Kanyashree scheme for girl students to undergraduate levels. Under this extension programme, self-defence trainings will be given to girls students in all government-run and government-aided colleges in the state,” confirmed an official of DIP.

The Kanyashree project has recently received an United Nations (UN) award for public services. 

The proposal to start the self-defence programme in colleges came from the state women & child development and social welfare department that forwarded a request to the state higher education department. “Accordingly DIP, which comes under the state higher education department, sent notices to all such institutions. The expenditure will be borne by state women & child development and social welfare department from fund allocated under Kanyashree scheme,” the DIP official said. 

Read: What Mamata Banerjee did right to wipe out Maoist violence in West Bengal

Under this welfare project, the beneficiaries (between 13 and 18 years) are entitled to an annual scholarship of R 500. If they are not married off and enrol in colleges each gets R 25,000 in her account. To encourage women to prusue post graduate studies, the chief minister has announced that each will get monthly scholarship for R 2,500 (for science students) and R 2000 (for arts students). 

“The individual colleges will be responsible for conducting the workshops involving local institutions, or clubs conducting martial art trainings. If necessary help of experts of Kolkata Police and West Bengal police can also be taken. Although the scheme will be funded under the Kanyashree project, girl students who are not covered under the scheme can participate in the workshop,” the DIP official said.

Read: UN award for Mamata Banerjee’s girl child project: BJP leader says Modi deserved it 

The Kanyashree project was launched in October 2013. As per statistics of West Bengal government, since its launch, 93.25 lakh candidates have enrolled themselves under the scheme, out which 89.40 lakh applications have been sanctioned.

“Self defence training be helpful in increasing confidence of the students,” the bureaucrat said.

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