Mission self-defence: Karnataka police launches project to train girls in combat skills

Image used for representational purpose: Anatoliy Karlyuk / Shutterstock

Bengaluru: After a series of attacks on women in Karnataka, the state Police department is all set to address the issue with an ambitious project of training all school, and college-going girls with unarmed combat skills.

Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) has undertaken a mission to put school girls and college-going women in combat mode to enable them to face any tough situation single-handedly. KSRP ADGP Alok Kumar says they want to include RWAs and housewives in training.

As many as 3,000 young women have been trained in self-defence in Karnataka in 6 months as part of this initiative. The girls will be taught how to attack, how to break loose, how to gain strength and how to stay strong and positive. They will also be taught to render kicks and punches so strongly that makes the attacker unconscious.

The first batch of girls in Mysuru will give a demo in presence of Home Minister Araga Jnanendra on Tuesday (Sept 27) at Mysuru.

KSRP ADGP Alok Kumar who has launched the initiative explained that the project has been started 6 months ago and then Home Minister who is presently the Chief Minister, Basavaraj Bommai had kicked off the programme.

"We are doing the training programme at so many places. We started from Bengaluru. Here we covered 16 schools and colleges, more than 1,000 girl students belonging to different schools and colleges have been trained. Similarly in Belagavi, Kalaburgi and tomorrow (Tuesday) we are going to have a demo of school girls," he said.

"Till now more than 3,000 students have been trained, we want to continue with this, at least in urban and semi-urban areas. Such types of incidents take place mostly in urban and semi-urban areas. There is anonymity and unknown people come there and do some mischief," he said.

In rural areas, they can't afford to do it as they are known to people. So, if they do something they will complain to their parents. That fear is not there in urban areas. "So our focus is on urban and semi-urban areas. We want to cover the whole of the state. One or two states have started it, but not carried on so vigorously. We have covered it since one-and-a-half months in other places and since 6 months in Bengaluru," he explains.

So, care has been taken that the training is not symbolic. It should make the girls capable that if a situation arises they should really be in a position to face it mentally and physically. It's not that they do it for demo purposes and when the real situation arises they forget everything. With that objective in mind, we are imparting a one-month training programme, he noted.

They will be given unarmed combat training. The girls will be using the power of their hands, legs and head to tackle the situation. It is not like you are having lathi or something. You don't use any arms, when you are travelling or going somewhere you don't carry anything. But, immediately you have the capability or skill to face them using various techniques, using hands, feet and head, he said.

He said that the response is good. So many girl students are coming forward. COVID has put a spanner in our programme. We launched it on International Women's Day in March. But, again, the second wave came. Now, things are better.

In Bengaluru city we are proposing to train RWA's women, housewives by KSRP girls. In some places we are taking the help of local trainers also, Alok Kumar said.

Janardhan R, the Commandant of the 5th Batallion, Mysuru, explained that more than 500 girl students of schools and colleges have already been trained. The police department has tied up with the Wasakayi Martial Arts institution. Even policemen's daughters who have a black belt in Karate are also training the girls, he added.

Along with students, physical teachers are also being trained. They can pursue the training in future. "We have advised them to include them in their curriculum," he said.

Jyothi Parande, KSRP inspector who is training girl students in Belagavi says, the training is given to girls before or after school hours. "The training is such that, the girls will be able to deliver punches and kicks so powerful that the opposite person becomes unconscious. The girls will be able to tackle them, even if they have a weapon," she explained.

The girls are contacting us and showing interest to join self-defence classes, she adds.

Anjali, a 9th standard student from Mysuru explains she did not feel so safe before training. "I learnt how to be positive," she said.

"I am feeling proud. I have to cover some distance to reach school. My parents used to be scared. Now they are not," says Soujanya. B, another student.

Disha said she enjoyed the training. I thank trainer Krishnamurthy sir. I have been taught how to attack, how to break loose, how to gain strength and how to stay strong and positive.

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