At a time when self-defence training for girls has come under the spotlight, Municipal School Board (MSB) or Nagar Pratmikh Shikshan Samithi (NPSS), as it is called, has decided to teach self-defence techniques to its girl students. A private organisation will train the girls for free.
MSB operates 292 schools in Surat, with 1.45 lakh students on their rolls. Of these, 70,000 are girls. Majority of girl students belong to lower middle class or poor families.
Security is a concern as all schools lack adequate security measures – proper gates, grilled windows and boundary walls. None of the MSB schools have security guards making trespassing easy.
Girls from class I to VIII will be taught self-defence techniques. “To ensure safety of girl students, we have decided to grant permission to a private organisation to start training at the earliest,” said Atul Patel, chairman of MSB.
According to Patel, MSB is the first organisation in the state to implement self-defence training in government schools.
City-based NGOs working for women have welcomed the decision. Geeta Shroff, president of NGO Apmrityu Nivaran Sahay said self-defence as extremely important for girl students.
“Girls of all ages are prone to physical abuse. Especially girls living in slums, as there is nobody to monitor trespassers. A girl knowing self-defence techniques can defend herself as well as other students in an unwanted situation. The decision made by MSB is really very encouraging,” said Shroff.