The gut-wrenching incidents of rapes and sexual harassment that have enveloped the news cycle force us to think whether our children or close ones will have to go through the same ordeal.
But Neha Srimal, a self-defence coach with a black-belt in Taekwondo who is also mother to a 7-year-old girl, decided to act. She started a campaign for self-defence to be included in the school curriculum. She wants children to learn at least the basics of self-defence in the school itself.
In her petition to Minister of School Education and Sports Department, Maharashtra, she has pointed out some very important things that children need to be taught right away. She started it with two examples.
January 2018: A 15-year-old girl brutally raped in Jind, Haryana
March 2018: An 18-year-old girl fights off three men harassing her and hands them over to police – in Birbhum, Bengal
She further wrote, “Now look at this fact – The girl from Birbhum was learning martial arts for the last 10 months. This brave student shows us that girls can be empowered to face such situations with confidence, rather than feeling scared, victimised and helpless.”
She also mentioned some stats in her petition. According to her petition, in India, more than 53% of children face sexual abuse and whenever such incidence happens, we look up to police and legal system for help. She further wrote, “we never imagine that a girl can also have the power to deal with such situations.”
She wants self-defence to be taught from schools Class 5 and above. According to her, martial arts is not just about defending oneself but also about the mental, physical and psychological preparedness to deal with danger.
Click here to sign the petition