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Using karate to deter crimes and build morale

Bangalore, Ramzauva Chhakchhuak, June 19, 2013, DHNS: 3:12 IST

SSA proposes training girls in government schools in self-defence against harassment

Training in karate is to enable girls protect themselves against sexual harassment.
Imagine this: girls in government schools across the State, practising karate, judo and other forms of self-defence to protect themselves from assault.

The scenario is not as outlandish as it may seem. With the approval of the State government, self-defence classes at government schools may actually become a reality.

Proposed this year by the Sarva Shiksha Abhyan (SSA) as part of its “innovative activities,” the classes will be mainly aimed at girls in classes six to eight. In the meantime, the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) may take up the training for girls in high school. “The plan is ready and everything is in place. All we need is a nod from the government to begin,” said State Project Director, Subodh Yadav, who added that a proposal for such classes has already been filed with the government.

With incidents of sexual assault and harassment on the rise, the SSA and the RMSA hope to give an an entire generation of young girls, valuable self-defence skills to help protect themselves and their loved ones if necessary. Training may initially be offered in “capsule courses,” each lasting for a week or up to ten days. The course will also serve to gauge the interest of students, and will allow for improvements to made to the training.

According to Yadav, physical instruction teachers will have the tasks of offering the training for their respective schools. “Those schools which lack such teachers and physical instructors will be hired from private schools nearby,” he said.

“At present, we seek to start this plan at the basic level as per the availability of trainers and by how many girls are interested,” Yadav added. “Later on, if there is enthusiasm and interest, we will upgrade the classes by increasing the duration of the course and by hiring more trainers.”

The estimated budget for the programme is Rs 15 crore, which will also include annual funding for other co-curricular activities such as the zilla darshan, krishi darshan, adventure sports, etc.

According to Principal Secretary, Primary and Secondary Education, G Kumar Naik, the proposal is yet to be vetted and various details such as financing and hiring trainers still need study. “It is a very good proposal and if everything falls into place, we will consider implementing it,” he said.

News of the programme has made several parents enthusiastic. “I will be more than happy to enrol my daughter in such a programme — provided all the facilities are in place,” said D Chaudhary, who has a daughter in Class 6 at a government school in Koppal. “In today’s day and age, such steps are needed to instil confidence in girls and help them tackle any kind of situation.”

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