In response to an online petition filed by a self-defence coach from Pune, the Maharashtra government will now consider making training in self-defence a part of the school curriculum in the state, reports Indian Express.
Vinod Tawde, Maharashtra Education Minister, gave this assurance to a woman self-defence coach Neha Shrimal, from Pune.
Shrimal, a mother of a seven-year-old girl, had reportedly demanded that self-defence training be made compulsory for all schools in the state in a petition posted on Change.org in September last year. The request had received over 1.38 lakh signatures in support.
Shrimal quoted an incident wherein an 18-year-old girl defended herself from three men harassing her and handed them over to the police.
“This brave student shows us that girls can be empowered to face such situations with confidence, rather than feeling scared, victimised and helpless. In India, over 53 per cent of children face sexual abuse,” Shirmal was quoted as saying by IE.
“We are planning to introduce self-defence in the curriculum. We have decided to start mandatory self-defence training in schools,” Tawde said.
According to the IE report, a senior official from the School Education Department confirmed the state government’s plan in this regard. “Our department went through the issues raised on the online platform, and we found merit in the petition. Therefore, we are seriously considering introducing self-defence sessions in the curriculum,” the official was quoted as saying.