Kick for safety: Girls at a karate class at St Joseph’s Club in Ranchi last year
Girls, show off your karate chops to send potential molesters scurrying.
Come February, state human resource development (HRD) department will start the centrally sponsored scheme of self-defence classes for schoolgirls of Classes IX and X across all government cradles, including Kasturba Gandhi residential ones.
The scheme, under Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, will last for a year from its inception, and comprise 19 karate classes, each 90-minutes-long, every month. The HRD department has earmarked Rs 4 lakh of central funds for the scheme.
Director of secondary education Mamta said the scheme was implemented in schools across India.
“In Jharkhand, we are starting karate classes for girl students from next month. Sexual assaults on minor and adolescent girls are on the rise in our state. Self-defence is a good way to stem the attacks and increase confidence and agility in girls,” she said.
She added a spate of rapes had shocked the state.
“I advocate self-defence for every girl and woman. But, girls who study in government schools come from modest or poor families. Their families can’t afford to pay for self-defence classes. That’s why these karate lessons will be important stepping stones to self-reliance and security for these girls,” she added.
Many government and Kasturba Gandhi residential schools are also located in far-flung areas.
“Most often, girls feel insecure when roads are empty or they have to return home in the evening. If they know karate, they will at least able to protect themselves better,” she said.
Girls will learn the strategic art of kicks, punches and even blindfolding.
“More than brute strength, martial arts teach a person to rely on strategies and reflexes while defending oneself,” Mamta said. “Of course, breaking brick blocks will give students the much-needed confidence and strength.”
Ranchi district superintendent of education (DSE) Jayant Mishra said they received a directive from the department to start classes from next month. “I am preparing the list of schools and total number of girls who will get karate lessons,” he said.
For Ranchi, the department has approached International Martial Art Institute, Bahu Bazar, and some other martial arts teachers.
Sunil Kispotta, technical director of International Martial Art Institute, confirmed they had been approached to start self-defence classes.
“We are waiting for the department’s final approval. We are looking forward to be a part of this government scheme as we are disturbed by the rise in rape cases in our state. I am already conducting classes at St Joseph Club for young girls after their parents requested us,” said Kispotta.
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