Bhubaneswar: While atrocities against women is on the rise across the nation, Sujata Sahu (26) a girl from Rourkela, yesterday, displayed extreme courage to resist two road-side Romeos and also captured their bike while the culprits managed to flee the spot.
Sujata, who has become a newsmaker overnight in the Steel City of the State, says that whatever be the body weight, size or height of the girl, if she resists and raises an alarm, then in many cases either the culprits would be forced to flee or would be captured by the public, nearby.
In order to boost the self-confidence of the adolescent girls in the city, especially from the slums within the Bhubaneswar Town Centre District (BTCD), the city authorities have initiated imparting self –defence training to them under the Socially Smart Bhubaneswar. This is expected to contribute a lot towards making them vigilant, strong and smart.
Under socially smart Bhubaneswar the city authorities have already imparted self-defence training to 125 girls from 24 slums under BTCD area while another batch of 65 adolescent girls from these slums are undertaking the training from 9th April, at the famed Utkal Karate School in the city. This has been followed by a new batch of 64 girls from BTCD slums getting inducted for the training yesterday. This has taken the number of girls from BTCD slums who have either completed or presently undergoing self-defence training under Socially Smart Bhubaneswar project to 254. After the first two batches, the number of girls from slums showing interest to enroll for the 10 days training has witnessed a significant rise, wherein the city authorities have planned to train a total of 320 girls from the slums of BTCD.
It can be noted here that the Socially Smart Bhubaneswar is a joint initiative of Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and UNFPA to strengthen social components of the Bhubaneswar Smart City Proposal. The girls selected from the slums for the training have been identified by project implementation partner, Humara Bachpan.
Hari Patnaik, chief of Utkal Karate School, where the self-defence training for the girls is on, said “apart from the self-defence training we are also motivating the girls to have more confidence, never to panic, or be stressed unnecessarily while facing the anti-social elements. With better confidence only a girl can face these types of rogue elements in life.’’
Saying that as per statistical analysis 75 percent of the cases where the girls protest are able to rescue themselves from a crisis, Patnaik said that in case of the Rourkela girl Sujata, it was her attitude to protest, which helped her to fend off the anti-social elements. She is only 44 KG in weight, but she had the courage to shout and make the culprits flee the place leaving behind the bike.’’
Interestingly, Sujata is currently imparting self-defence training to college-going girl students in the Steel City and she was also trained herself on self-defence techniques at Utkal Karate School. The self-defence training also involves dos and don’ts for the girls, how to carry them with confidence even in the moment of stress, never panic and zeal to fight and win till the end. As the criminals are at ease to study the body language of the victims, the girls are always told not to show their worries on their face.
Patnaik also informed that advocates working with women issues, police officials from the Mahila Thana (Women PS) and expert counsellors are also motivating the girls to become more courageous and bold in order to face the unwanted elements in the society, who disrespect women.
Aarti Reddy of Shanti Nagar FCI Colony said “the training has given me the confidence to raise my voice for my rights. It has made me confident.’’ Aarti is studying in Class VIII. Sujita Nayak, a Class X dropout from Shanti Palli in Saheed Nagar said “we girls of the slum are taking leadership to raise issues of public importance.’’