Kanchan Yadav is a 20-year-old student at St Miras College. She is an introvert and doesnt go partying at night,yet she fears becoming a victim of sexual abuse on the streets. So,Yadav has equipped herself with the necessary skills of self-defence. The reality is that anything can happen to anyone at anytime. I cannot depend on others to come to my rescue. If anything untoward should happen,I have to stay prepared to face it and fight it, says Yadav,who is taking self-defence classes at her college.
Though a number of private institutes in the city offer such classes,due to a hectic schedule,students in the city find it hard to enroll for such activities even though they are aware of the importance of equipping themselves with the skill. While the state government has decided to make judo,karate and taekwondo training compulsory for girl students of Class IX and X in municipal schools,the trend is not replicated in many colleges across the city. As an exception,St Miras organises a self-defence class for those who would like to opt for it.
Speaking on behalf of girl students,Yadav stresses on the usefulness of such classes. Self-defence is the need of the hour and we are privileged to learn it on our campus itself, says the BCom student. Suvarna Pathak,who has been the Physical Education (PE) and self-defence teacher at the college since 2003,says,Like PE is a compulsory subject in schools,self-defence should be made compulsory in colleges. Unless it is compulsory,students slacken in coming for the classes even though they know it is important for them. She adds that merely conducting talks and workshops is not enough.
Tanishka Kataaria,a 20-year-old student of BES Law College,agrees. We have so much to do in a day attend classes,exchange notes,study for exams,and there are so many distractions,that we dont make an effort and sign up for self-defence classes. If such classes are made compulsory in college,we will have no choice but to attend them. We know it is for our good,but we need it to be in our schedule, says Kataaria.
Another student,19-year-old Niharika Bhatia,says,Colleges should also make taekwando or martial arts compulsory for students,as it will help boost their confidence and also help them protect themselves. She points out that every college can organise it in classrooms,ground or amphitheatre. It will keep students fit and make them more active. This in turn will help them concentrate on studies even better, she says.