With the city’s crime graph going north, colleges and corporates have woken up to the need of training girls and women to defend themselves. They have roped in private agencies to conduct lessons in safety every weekend on their premises.
Pooja Chadha, founder of Extra Mile, a private agency that teaches self-defence techniques to young girls in colleges and universities for free, says the focus of her classes are not so much on fighting back as on getting away. “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 (like keys, deodorants and pens).’’
The aim, she explains, is to find a quick way to escape rather than fight back someone who, in most cases, is stronger. The experts also help the girls get the techniques of punching, kicking and boxing right.
Simran Puri, a student of SNDT University who has been regularly attending such classes, says her decision to learn self-defence techniques was prompted by a friend’s harrowing experience. “I used to think that Mumbai is a safe city. But when an auto driver tried molesting a friend a couple of months ago, that was my wake-up call.”