Give your self a few lessons in self-defence

(July 24, 2003)


Hindustan times
Ht South Live (Thursday, July 24, 2003)

AS PART of its Safety Awareness Campaign, Smile Foundation is organising a series of workshops covering 500 adolescent girls and women in the five communities living in Safdarjung Enclave with participation of 120 girls and women from the slums of Mohummadpur, Himayunpur and Krishana Nagar.



The first workshop was held at St. Mary’s School, Safdarjung Enclave with participation of 120 girls and women from the slums of Mohummadpur; Himayunpur and Krishna Nagar.

The theme of the workshop was ‘Basics of Self-Defence’ with focus on myths about women, violence and self-defence, body language and basics about the redressal procedures and how to approach the police.

Says Anupama Puri, of the Foundation, “The first step towards effective self-defence is to realize that no matter what, all of us are susceptible to various forms of crime. And it is well documented that women of all ages have successfully defended themselves against attackers. Never think that it couldn’t happen to you. Be prepared. Women have right to their space and must exercise it.”

Anchored by inspector Neeta Malhotra of the Women Cell, Delhi Police, the workshop familiarised the participants with the basic departments and procedures of the police, Missing Persons Squad, Women’s Cell, Post Box No: 5353, help line and counseling facilities.

Participants were told about how the Women’s Cell Functions.

Says Malhotra, “It is absolutely essential that we raise our voice against any misconduct and bring the perpetrators to book as it will not only teach them a lesson but also act as a deterrent.”

According to Puri, awareness is the first line of defence; awareness of yourself, your surroundings, and your potential attacker’s likely strategies.

A criminal’s primary strategy is to use the advantage of surprise.

Studies have shown that criminals are adept at choosing targets who appear to be unaware of what is going on around them.

By being aware of your surroundings and by projecting a “force presence'” many altercations which are commonplace on the street can be avoided.

The workshop was interactive in nature with girls sharing their experiences and reactions.

Besides lecture and discussion, basic self-defence and attack techniques to the various vulnerable body parts were demonstrated by Daya and Seema of the Delhi Police.