By: Er. Prabhat Kishore
Proneness to women atrocities is not a recent phenomenon in the society. Women have been traditionally considered as preys to male chauvinism and aggression from the time immemorial. A typical Indian girl from a middle-class or affluent family is raised chaperoned and over-protected. After independene, in last few decades, guardians as well as society have come forward in extension of education for girls. Various other reforms have been evolved at State and national levels. Girls has crossed the closed doors and performed well in every walk of life. They have become more strengthened to protest against the attitude and act of violence of their male counterparts. Although rarely does she learn how to protect herself or react in a situation where she is attacked.
At this backdrop the school going girl students are the worst sufferers and they have every chance of being affected. Sometimes, the girls have to travel a long way to reach a Secondary or Higher Secondary school either on foot or by bicycle, sometimes even alone. The parents habitually stoop to this apprehension and restrain the girls’ children to attend schools regularly, which often results in chances of drop outs and discontinuation of their education & aspiration.
In this context, self defence training programme for girls studying in elementary as well as higher classes is must, so that they can build up in themselves certain self defence skills including life skill for self protection and self-development. Self Defence Training to girls in government institutionshelps them become psychologically, intellectually, physically and spirutially strong to protect themselves in time of distress. They are trained to leverage daily usable articles like keychains, dupattas etc. for their protection.
In earstwhile centrally sponsored schemes namely National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL), Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), the training programme for self defence have been imparted to school girls at elementary as well as secondary level in some sectors. Such activities helped to instill confidence in girls as well as ensuring attendance and reducing absenteeism & drop outs.
Under “Samagra Shiksha” programme, which has been launched on 1st April 2018, provision of self defence training for elementary (upto class VIII) as well as secondary (upto class X or XII) level have been made with unit cost @ Rs3000/- per month (to be enhanced @ Rs 5000/- per month in next extension of SS scheme i.e. FY 2021-22) for 3 months per school. The training programme has been renamed as “Rani Laxmi Bai Atma Raksha Prashikshan” by GOI. Martial Arts training are imparted in various techniques namely; Karate, Taekwondo, Wushu, Boxing (Mushti-yuddha), Silambam (Lathi-yuddha), Judo etc.
There is also provision of self defence training to enrolled girls of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya sanctioned with unit cost @ Rs 10000/- per vidyalaya per annum.
Main objectives of the programme are :- (i) To reduce irregular attendance of girl students, (ii) To equip the girls with some life skills and defence skills so that they can avert any kind of untoward situation at least at the first instances, (iii) To spread a message to the violence-maker that girls are being ready for counter-defence and awareness is being developed among the girls in this regards, (iv) To make the Physical Education teacher of each school aware of these skills for future practice of them as a part of school curriculum.
The broad aim of the programme is to extend the Martial Arts training to all girls studying in schools upto class XII. The States have their own strategy and schedule for implementation of this programme.
The states like Bihar has extended the programme through a 36-day training schedule in schools by black belt master trainers. After completion of the training, the girls will be graded & certified stepwise in various types of belt through recognized Martial Arts institutions. Finally, after getting black belt, class XII pass-out girls will have option to engage themselves as master trainer in Martial Arts and become “Atmanirbhar”.
The Delhi HC has directed the State Government to implement self defence programme for girls in schools. In Telangana, the Physical Education Teachers (PET) of Government schools are trained by experts, who in turn train girls in their respective schools. It is a 3 month course during which 24 vital techniques are taught to the students studying in classes VI to X. These techniques are taught in 36 sessions thrice in a week.
In Sikkim, the self defence training to school girls of class 6 to 10 have been initiated in three martial arts disciplines- Taekwondo, boxing and kick-boxing. In Jammu & Kashmir, basic techniques of Judo & Taekwondo have been provided to girls under “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” programme. Earlier Army had also organized four week martial arts course for school girls in remote areas. There is strong demand from Assam girls to include self defence training in school curriculum across the country. In Tripura, instructors from State have sorted out 5 girl-trainers from each school during 7-day training programme. The girl trainer imparted training to their co-mates in schools.The Maharashtra Government has planned to make self defence training a part of school curriculum.
Expected Outcome of the self defence training programmeare :- (a) Girls became physically robust & psychologically empowered and their self confidence increases, (b) Increase in enrolment and retention because of increased awareness among community, (c) Girls participation in school activities has increased traditional roles.
The Self defence training programmes to girls will pave the way to ensure secured atmosphere not only in schools & colleges but in every walk of life, which will be fruitful for all round development of the country in long run.
(The author is a technocrat & academician)