The city’s youth are echoing the outrage against the gang rape and near fatal beating of a 23-year-old girl in New Delhi. From wearing black to planning a candlelight march, youngsters are planning to show their solidarity to women's safety by condemning this act. They also demanded that self-defence lessons be made compulsory in schools and colleges.
Extending support to the rally held in Delhi, Mumbai youth have started showing their solidarity by sporting a black dot as their status message on social networking sites and wearing black.
Corporator Avkash Jadhav asked: "Is the youth of Mumbai indifferent to what happens against an innocent girl in Delhi? We can choose to be ignorant or be part of showing solidarity in this case by condemning this act."
Jadhav added that including self-defense sessions in schools and colleges is the need of the hour. "Self-defence for women should be made into an important part of the curriculum. Colleges and schools can offer karate and other defence lessons so that girls can fight back,’’ said Jadhav.
Khushboo Kamath, 19, a commerce student, concurred: "Self-defence lessons will be more of a help to us than just exercises in physical education. It is high time that colleges and schools and even corporate houses teach women how to defend themselves. Karate, kick boxing and other simple manoeuvres should be taught free of cost so that every woman gets access to them."
Engineering student Saurav Mandotiya said: "I feel that even men should take self-defence lessons so that they can also help women. I have been receiving messages about a candlelight march to be held on December 22. Just putting up status messages will not help so I am going to participate in the march. I feel that unless we treat eve teasing as a serious offence, we will not be able to prevent rape."
Self-defence lessons are important not so much to fight back but they focus on getting away, explained Pooja Chadha, founder of Extra Mile, a private agency that teaches self-defence techniques. “The aim is to find a quick way to escape rather than fight back someone who, in most cases, is stronger. Our experts demonstrate how to target pressure points and sensitive areas of the attacker's body like the rear part of the ear lobe and below the neck with items in one's handbag such as keys, deodorants and pens,’’ she said.