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Defend yourself!

Thursday, September 06, 2018

It’s not enough to tie a rakhi on your brother and expect his protection, says Jai Dhar Gupta

The world’s fastest growing economy has been declared as the topmost country in terms of crime and violence against women. Indian society is facing a major crisis of women’s safety and security. Though India has always been known for its rich culture and spiritual practice, over the years the values of Indian society have degraded. The disregard and disrespect for women has been growing as is evident from the daily news of crimes like sexual violence, trafficking, slave labour and harassment. 

This issue can no more be ignored. While it is being addressed at all levels across the nation, from the government to the judiciary, women themselves have to take charge and bring the desired change by:

Training for awareness and self-reliance

We need to address it at our level and remind ourselves that ‘prevention is better than cure. It’s time we claim and own our lives. Training in self-protection techniques such as karate and taekwondo will empower women and institutions like schools, universities and corporates can play a role in raising awareness levels.

Physical fitness

Besides being aware and mindful of the situations and techniques, physical fitness of women is of prime importance in practically handling such situations. An active woman can quickly adapt and respond to such rough episodes. An alert mind with quick reflexes can turn the tables on the opponent.

Fitness activities

Exercising and workouts are usually not a priority for Indian women. This tendency needs to be disrupted; girls and women must be encouraged to develop both physical and mental grit, which are indispensable to win in such situations.  Lack of these make them more vulnerable to such life-threatening incidents and the impact could be much more.

Safety tools

Women can brace themselves further with some popular self-protection devices like pepper sprays and safety alarms or by using safety apps such as Himmat, bSafe and VithU. The combination of physical exercises and self defense arms and apps can be a strong deterrent to assailants. Pepper sprays often contain a UV dye, which can help track and identify the perpetrators.  Thus women can actively collaborate in the reformation of society too. Safety alarms are tiny devices which have a loud siren like sound and attract attention when used in any place.

Jai Dhar Gupta is CEO, MACE India

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