Innovation : The main objective of this training programme is to decrease dropout rates and make girls more confident by empowering them to defend themselves in times of danger.
Duration : Three sessions a week.
Location : Schools across the District of Hyderabad.
Key Stakeholders : School Girls, Physical Education Trainers, School Teachers, School Administrations.
Instances of harassment against girls and women are prevalent in our society, many of which go unreported eventually leading to heinous crimes against girl and women. There is a pressing need to tackle such complicated situations for girls to be able to save themselves from any deleterious outcome. By making them learn self defence; we can ensure a society brimming with powerful and strong women who can protect themselves.
In the District of Hyderabad, self defence training programmes have been conducted in 181 Schools under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) for school girls in the age group of 11-15 years. The Physical Education Teachers (PET) of Government schools are trained by experts from Rudrama Devi Academy (Institute of Martial Arts), who in turn train female students in their respective schools. It is a 3 month course during which 24 vital techniques are taught to the students studying in classes 6 to 10. These techniques are taught in 36 sessions thrice in a week. The movie ‘Komal’ is screened across schools, making children aware about child sexual abuse. This has led to awareness on good touch and bad touch among children especially among girls, alerting them and encouraging them to speak out about situations that are undesirable.
One of the factors that contributed to the success of this activity is the number of girls who were trained under this programme. This programme has empowered girls, who were ready to take on challenges about women safety.
A total of 26,000 girls have participated in the self defence training. One of the major impacts of this activity has been instilling a sense of fearlessness and enhancing mental strength among the girls. Children are beginning to feel more confident and secured having learnt techniques to defend themselves in times of crisis. While this activity has enhanced the physical strength of girls on one hand, there has been an increase in the girls’ attendance in schools on the other. A very positive trend is being witnessed across schools where this training has been imparted.
One of the challenges faced was the lack of adequately trained PETs in schools. Hence, increasing the number of training programmes of PET needs to be conducted to ensure that good training to girls in martial arts takes place. Also, many more girls need to be motivated to participate in self defence training programmes.