Delhi Police's self-defence training initiative boosts moral of women

Post unlock one, both online and offline training was given.

The ‘Sashakti’ initiative, a self-defence programme of the Delhi Police, has not only instilled a new sense of confidence in Aarti Chaudhary, a homemaker in Nihal Vihar here, but also given her courage to help other women being harassed on roads.

Citing an instance, Ms. Chaudhary said she once saw a group of boys misbehaving with a woman near her house. She along with her friend first asked the boys to back-off but when they didn’t, she punched one of them.

The boys then tried to attack the two women but they learnt their lesson the hard way when the women duo further hit them.

Ms. Chaudhary and her friend are among many women who have undergone the Delhi Police’s ‘Sashakti’ initiative taken up by the community policing cell of Outer district.

Several women who have undergone the training said these classes have not only boosted their morale but also instilled confidence in them to fight their fears while walking on the streets.

Ms. Chaudhary (30), said the it’s only because of the self-defence training she received that she could fight the boys and rescue the woman. "The training classes indeed boosted my morale and I feel more confident while walking on the roads now. Earlier, I used to fear going out alone. There are so many cases of eve-teasing and molestation that we witness in our area. I feel everyone should take this training and become self-dependent," she said.

Inspector Suman, Head of Community Policing Cell of Delhi Police’s Outer district, who has given self-defence classes to over 1,000 such women and school students so far said through their initiative, they want more and more women to feel safe and secured as they move out on the streets.

"We have identified places in respective areas of our district and conducted week-long self-defence training sessions for women particularly in crime prone areas where incidents of even-teasing, molestation and street crimes are reported.”

“These classes are conducted free of cost both online and offline. This prepares women to deal with any situation at any given point in case they don’t have immediate help around or when police may take time to reach the spot,” she said.

For Kavita Lather (40), a Delhi government school teacher, the self-defence class boosted her confidence and she now encourages her students to also take up these sessions. "It has also boosted my confidence. We are more aware about how to deal with any such situation. Besides adopting the techniques, we must also be aware of the dark spots in our respective areas and be cautious while moving out on the streets especially if circumstances force us to move in odd hours," she said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer) Parvinder Singh said during the coronavirus pandemic, the offline training was stopped but soon after the unlock, we started the sessions in both online and offline modes.

"Recently, we conducted physical sessions at MCD dispensary Camp number 5 under the jurisdiction of Paschim Vihar west police station.”

"During the start of the session, there were only 10/12 girls, so the trainer put in extra efforts and met a resident of the area, Nurjahan, who took keen interest and motivated other women of her locality to join the self-defence training. Her encouragement and persistent efforts soon paid off and the number of participants soared to 50," Mr. Singh said.

Nurjahan, who like others also underwent the training said, "I lost my 13-year-old girl in 2017. She was found hanging in her room in our absence. I don’t know what forced her to take that step but she’s the one who actually gave me strength to live my life.”

"Now I want to encourage more and more women in joining the training so that every women feels safe and confident in fighting any circumstances." The Community Policing Cell of outer district has trained approximately 3,000 girls and women so far since the first unlock, police claimed.

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