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Ammunition to empower women

Friday, February 09, 2018
By Parth Khatau. Photograph by Trupti Arekar

ABVP joins hands with master trainer Shifuji Shaurya Bhardwaj to teach female youth self-defence techniques and create awareness about physical fitness

Close to 3,000 female students from colleges in the western suburbs participated in a self-defense training camp organized by student organisation Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and  master trainer Shifuji Shaurya Bhardwaj at the Thakur Stadium, Kandivali (E) yesterday. In a bid to promote women empowerment and train women to deal with unforseen situations, the self-defense workshops are set to target other areas of the city as well.

Girls studying in schools from class seven to post graduation and women working in welfare organizations can participate by filling in an online form. Ashish Chauhan, National General Secretary, ABVP said, "This was an idea we came up with while fighting for various issues dealing with women empowerment such as removing GST charged on sanitary napkins, a campaign that we are fighting for in Delhi."

"We wish to train lakhs of women in self-defence. The turnout has been amazing and we had 3,000 women come today for the training," he added.

The training camps shall spread out across various venues in Mumbai, with an aim to train 35,000 women in total for three hours per day. "We also plan to have a huge presentation at Marine Drive on March 4 with 11,111 girls participating," said Chauhan.

Master trainer Shifuji Shaurya Bhardwaj has trained lakhs of women in self defense, having close to 18 years of experience. He feels that the training he imparts ensures women can apply the same in real life scenarios. Bhardwaj, who is also an actor and a trainer for defense forces said, "It is important that the women who come here to learn are never afraid to apply these techniques in real life scenarios. We have been training them to use devices that they carry such as their mobile phone to their benefit and use it as a self-defense tool," adding that very often, women face harassment from more than one person and he always tells them, "If you knock out the first, the others will not come close to you."

Moreakshada Shamrao, a 17-year-old class 11 student, felt that the workshop instilled new found confidence in her when she steps out of the house. "We did not know much about self-defense and what to do in critical scenarios if we ever, God forbid, find ourselves in one," said Shamrao, adding that she feels better equipped to deal with such issues due to the training imparted at the workshop.

The workshops are soon set to roll out to the rest of Maharashtra, before spreading across India. The funding for the campaigns has been accumulated as part of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities from various corporates as sponsors, the names of which shall be declared in the near future.

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