Changing times has let to changing courses to learn. Two decades back my mother had a choice where she shifted me from Karate classes to Bharat Natyam classes. Today, I am doing orientation class for girls to learn Karate (self-defense) training classes. Times has surely changed the need of the hour.
The news headlines from Banglore to Delhi to Mumbai has highlighted the vulnerability of being a woman in our society. High-time we stop the blame-game and take charge of the equations being created here. We need to be role models for the future generations and the more we crib, the more inequality we create for future.
CSR which is being looked up as panacea for all the challenges in India has again come to rescue. This time, it is Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) who has realized the need and took a step ahead to launch Project Shakti for women in association with Ekjaa Foundation in Mumbai.
Our governments, have introduced several programs to ensure women safety and have invested heavily in them with every passing year. In 2014 budget, the following allocation was done:
Outlay of Rs.50 crores for pilot testing a scheme on Safety for Women on Public Road Transport.
Sum of Rs.150 crores on a scheme to increase the safety of women in large cities.
Crisis Management Centres in all the districts of NCT of Delhi this year government and private hospitals.
A sum of Rs.100 crore is provided for Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana, a focused
Rs.3000 crore is provided in the current financial year for modernization of state police forces.
The Government may in future budgets consider to add self-defence training for women in its budget too. The training should be embedded and mandated in girls from school time. Though, successful implementation of Government programs even of the existing programs is yet to be seen. In situations, such as these CSR comes to rescue and fulfil the gaps.
It empowers the young girls, it surely does give them the power to take charge of their lives in times of need. But it is heart-wrecking for me to see this as a NEED not a CHOICE for the young girls to learn and their parents to teach.
Writing with a hope that self-defence training is learnt by CHOICE by the future generations.
(Harsha is Managing Director at International Institute of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility.)
Updated on Feb 5, 2017