Punch power: Bihar police's self-defence training for girls from maoist-affected villages

A programme run by police in the Maoist-affected Rohtas district gives free training to girls in self-defence, making them feel more safe and secure, writes Ramashankar
Girls from Maoist-affected reason taught self-defense at free of cost.
Girls from Maoist-affected reason taught self-defense at free of cost.

BIHAR: Police Lines at Dehri-on-Sone in Bihar’s Rohtas district are humming with activities during morning hours these days. It is not because police personnel do physical exercises. The place has come alive due to the active participation of young girls from the Maoist-affected villages.

There are around 40 girls from nearby villages under Tilauthu, Indrapuri, Amjhor and Rohtas police stations — once a hotbed of the Maoists — who learn self-defence techniques free of cost. Senior police officers train these girls, thanks to the initiative of Superintendent of Police Ashish Bharti.

The SP launched the training classes for girls belonging to schools and colleges in March this year. Impressed with the turnout of the first batch, which included civilians and some newly recruited women police personnel, Bharti told his subordinates to induct girls for the second batch as well.

“The second batch started on May 6. Only eight girls enrolled for the training. The number has gone up to 40. Some girls cycle down from far-off areas to attend the training session at Dehri-on-Sone,” says Bharti.
The self-defence training has started yielding results amid reports of troublemakers being taught a lesson by these trained girls. “Loiterers around schools and colleges have almost vanished,” says a police officer associated with self-defence training.

A girl trainee told officials how she brought a youth who tried to harass her in a running bus to his senses. The youth had to apologize to her after a brave resistance put up by the girl.“I feel more secure now as I step out of my home. Be it college or local market, I don’t need any male member to accompany me. All this is because of rigorous training for self-defence,” says Juhi Kumari.

Bharti, a 2011 batch IPS officer, is also credited with providing free-of-cost coaching to girl students preparing for their jobs in Bihar Police or the Indian Army. The trainees learn high jump, long jump and running tips. Bharti says nearly 15 of them were recently selected for the sub-inspectors post in Bihar Police. Many of the trainees were married and were initially hesitant to train.

“After initial hiccups, they agreed to train and finally got selected,” the SP said. Sergeant major of police lines Ramakant, who has been assigned to look after the girls’ training, says the trainees are cooperative and optimistic about their future. “We had to make arrangements for the basic infrastructure for training from our own resources,” says Ramakant.

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