Friday, April 16, 2010

IWD Update: Delhi (Aali Gaon)

Don't mess with a Goal girl!

International Women’s day was celebrated with an interesting and different session at Aali Gaon, Goal Delhi.

The focus of the session was self defense, an issue which is highly relevant for the girls in the community. Often the girls have expressed their discomfort while traveling from their homes to the programme site as they are teased by the boys in the community. In addition these girls were also scared to board the Delhi public transport buses, as they have heard stories of all kind of harassment faced by girls on the roadways.

Thus the Goal team thought it important to have a session of self defense to build their self confidence and equip the girls to make themselves safe

30 Goal participants participated in the 2 hour training. The resource person was Mr. Yash Narain from the All India Karate Federation. He has a black belt in kick boxing, and Taekwando. In the two hours of the session, he taught the girls basic punching, kicking, defense etc. He also demonstrated few difficult techniques, which they could use with some practice. He explained how one actually should hit at weaker parts of the body to have a better impact.

Meenakshi and Seema , Volunteer Coordinators from Standard Chartered Bank too participated enthusiastically in the session along with the girls. Seema, who had also undergone a similar training when she was a teenager shared her personal experiences of making use of self defense techniques and inspired the participants.

The volunteers had brief discussion on how one should avoid visiting risky places. They advised that if girls sensed something wrong, ideally they should leave from the situation. Seema added that, in certain problematic situation, it is better not to argue, but find ways to reach safe place. Meenakshi highlighted the importance of disclosing the threat to a adult whom they could trust. Certain tips like keeping chilli powder/pepper spray to dissuade the perpetrator were also discussed with the girls.

The Goal team has taken up the challenge to continue practicing the kicks and punching during netball exercises for few days. On the whole girls felt happy and more confident in handling difficult situation.

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