Self help is the best help! And Mary Kom reiterates this thought to the Indian women. With crime against women continues to rise, the Olympic bronze medallist boxer said it’s essential for women to equip themselves with self-defence techniques.
“I request all women to learn any form of self-defence, be it boxing or martial arts. However, knowing just the basics is not enough. They should be fit enough to use these techniques. For that, they should focus on physical fitness,” she said.
“Also, to be on the safer side, they should carry stuff like pepper spray. If more than one man attacks us, this might come in handy.”
The 29-year-old also feels that children must be taught to combat crime. “Sport like boxing, martial arts should be made compulsory in schools. All the principals, headmasters, founders should give this a serious thought and include it in their curriculum. I would be extremely grateful if they implement it,” she said.
So does Mary have any prior experience in dealing with thugs? Prompt comes the reply, “Yes. I have experienced it too. This was during my early days as a boxer in my home town. I was coming back from practise, but was wearing a traditional dress. A auto driver was letching and tried to touch me. When I asked him what he was doing, he was callous about it. I yelled at him, told him to show respect to women and started beating him up. I knew his intentions. Had I not had that fighting spirit that day, probably my career would have been spoiled,” she recalls. “That’s why I insist women to learn something in order to protect themselves.”
The Manipuri practises what she preaches. She is educating as many women as she can by helping them acquire knowledge on self-defence. “I have an academy in Manipur. There are many students who come there but not interested in sports. So I teach them self-defence techniques. I just don’t want to make them good boxers, I also want them to be able enough to deal with theses day to day hurdles,” the mother-of-two adds. “It’s painful to see crime increasing day by day,. If only men respected us, such problems would hardly arise.”
Mary said she wants to bring about changes in the law and order. “I am in the police force, but boxing keeps me busy. I have won an Olympic medal but my dream is not yet finished. It shall be
fulfilled the day I do something in my department to fight crime,” she signs off.