Surat women learn how to use perfume, hairpins in self-defence

Every weekend, women in the age group of 18-50 gather at the Police Training Centre in Athwalines area of Surat to learn how to defend themselves. They learn how to use hairpins, their nails and even deodorants to ward off men trying to harass them sexually in buses and other crowded places.

After the gangrape of a paramedical student in Delhi in December, the Surat police stepped forward to give training in self-defence to girls and women free of cost. Training of the first batch of 80 by karate experts started on January 5.

The classes are held for an hour each on Saturday and Sunday and is attended mostly by students, besides housewives and professionals like medical interns and air hostesses.

Dr Bhumi Soni, who is doing internship at a medical college, said, "Jamin kharab hoi to apne chappal pehri levi joiye, pruthvi upar carpet bichhavani jarur nathi (If the ground is dirty, one should wear slippers. It is not necessary to put a carpet over it). Such training is necessary of all the girls. A majority of girls in our country might have become victim of eve teasing at some point in their lives. Such things will not stop suddenly. We work in day and night shifts in hospitals and come in contact with patients and others. So such training will help us protect ourselves."

Another medial intern, Dr Geeta Pandey (name changed), said, "The self-defence training is definitely important for any woman. We go alone at different places for work and to study, where we are not accompanied by our family members or friends. And if such incidents occur at that time, we should be alert and able to handle them."

The women are of the view that such trainings help build confidence in them.

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