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Thread: Indian women counter rape with martial arts training

  1. #31
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    Rani Mukherjee

    Rani Mukherjee: 'Indian girls should learn martial arts'
    By Steven Baker
    Friday, Aug 15 2014, 3:49pm EDT

    Rani Mukherjee has said that girls should study martial arts as a means of protecting themselves.

    The Mardaani star has suggested that Indian schools should provide self-defense classes as a part of the curriculum.


    Rani Mukerji speaks during a press conference ahead of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's "Temptation Reloaded" concert
    © PA Images / AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim
    Rani Mukerji

    "There is a need for women power to come forward in all fields," stated Mukherjee.

    "Girl students - who are symbolic of shakti - should be given martial arts training besides their regular studies, so that they can protect their pride and honor."

    The actor, who plays Shivani Shivaji Roy, an officer of the Mumbai Crime Branch unit, in Mardaani, will be seen performing the martial art Krav Maga in the film.

    Directed by Pradeep Sarkar, the Yash Raj Films project releases August 22.
    I suppose this could have gone on our [URL="http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?48576-Bollywood-Kung-Fu!!"Bollywood-Kung-Fu!![/URL] thread, but that forum is one of our most active while this one can always use a little mo' luv.
    Gene Ching
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  2. #32

    Action breaks silence group Uk teachs self defence/protection in India

    Please check out the link below on the "Action breaks silence" group headed by Debi Stevens from Uk. Teaching Under privelidged women/children self defence/protection. Also search for Debi and the group on youtube, I feel this deeply inspirational and very worthwhile. The material Debi presents and teaches is very basic and workable!

    http://www.actionbreakssilence.org/about.htm

    Thanks for your time

    Simon

  3. #33
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    Noida Policewomen

    'eve-teasers' should really cross over to the U.S. vernacular.

    Updated: September 2, 2014 09:58 IST
    Noida women cops to be trained in martial arts
    Damini Nath

    Policewomen of Gautam Budh Nagar district will soon be trained in martial arts and then deployed at busy markets, shopping malls, metro stations, and outside girls’ schools .

    Superintendent of Police (Crime) Sunita Singh held a meeting with women constables on Monday. She will launch a 10-day judo and karate training session this week.

    “We have six personnel who are experts in judo and karate. They will train our 139 women personnel for 10 days and after that they will be deployed in plain clothes at busy spots across Noida.”

    She added that the plan was to “put the fear of the law” into the minds of eve-teasers and stalkers.

    Ms. Singh said she and other senior officers would also take rounds.

    The district police have been increasingly battling crimes against women and this initiative is expected to make women feel safer.

    “The presence of police at these places will act as a deterrent and we have chosen women personnel for this because women will feel comfortable in talking to them,” explained Ms. Singh.

    She will be meeting Sub-Inspectors and Inspectors on Tuesday to chalk out a plan for the training and deployment.

    The district’s sole mahila thana will also be part of the initiative.

    Senior Superintendent of Police Preetinder Singh added that teams of four or five women constables will step in if they see women being harassed. The teams will be accompanied by a male constable.
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  4. #34
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    I wonder if I will ever see articles where an Indian woman/girl has successfully prevented rape by using self defense training...
    "The true meaning of a given movement in a form is not its application, but rather the unlimited potential of the mind to provide muscular and skeletal support for that movement." Gregory Fong

  5. #35
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    Awareness is the key here

    Whether or not martial arts will actually work to reduce rape in India, it is an epidemic perpetuated by their traditional culture. At the very least, these token efforts are a start to raise awareness there.

    'Boys Will Be Boys'
    In India's largest state, a misogynistic family-run political dynasty wants to pretend a rape epidemic doesn't exist.
    BY Ankita Rao , Vivekananda Nemana
    AUGUST 13, 2014



    On the morning of May 27, villagers in the Badaun district in India's Uttar Pradesh state found two teenage girls, raped and murdered, hanging from a mango tree. The girls had disappeared the night before, never returning after wandering into the fields near their home to go to the bathroom. The attack came days before a series of brutal assaults across the state: Four men gang-raped a 17-year-old girl, and another group of men beat the mother of a different rape victim after she refused to withdraw an official complaint. On May 30, reporters confronted chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in the state capital of Lucknow about the recent wave of sexual violence.

    But the 41-year-old leader of India's most populous and arguably most lawless state was unrepentant. "Aren't you safe?" Yadav shot back, standing amid a gaggle of microphones, his aides smirking behind him. "You're not facing any danger, are you?"

    The remarks were consistent with what has become a disturbing party line. Yadav is one of the leading politicians in the Samajwadi Party ("Socialist Party"), a left-leaning group that has built a reputation as one of the most anti-women parties in the country. In April, Yadav's father, party head and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, opposed capital punishment for rape, citing that "boys will be boys ... they make mistakes." Just days later, Abu Azmi, the head of the party's Maharashtra state branch, argued that if men were hanged for rape, then women should be hanged for having premarital sex. In July, Mulayam sparked controversy again by claiming that out of all Indian states, Uttar Pradesh had the most people but the fewest rapes -- a blatant lie. (Reached through a party spokesperson, Yadav and his father declined to comment.)

    A combination of uneven development, a flawed judiciary, and systemic police corruption have made Uttar Pradesh among the most difficult places to be a woman in India. The state -- with a population of roughly 200 million, enough to make it the fifth-largest country in the world -- reported over 32,500 incidents of gender-based crime in 2013, ranking second only to the admittedly less populated Andhra Pradesh. Of those, 3,000 were rapes -- more than a 50 percent rise from the year before, according to the Ministry of State for Home Affairs, which oversees the national police service. Yet these numbers don't tell the whole story; rape carries significant stigma in India, and can often lead to abuse directed towards the victim, causing sexual assault to go widely underreported.

    The scale of gender-based violence in Uttar Pradesh is likely much worse than the already disturbing figures suggest. That is not the way the party sees it, however. "This whole thing about violence against women -- this is propaganda," Rajendra Chaudhary, a Samajwadi Party cabinet minister and spokesman, told Foreign Policy. "These incidents are unfortunate and we're trying to fix them, but this is a social problem. We can't say that this is happening because of government."

    Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party has resisted efforts to reform rape laws, refused to reserve a portion of seats in its parliament for women, and opposed increased penalties for sexual crimes after the now-infamous 2012 Delhi gang rape, where a young woman was brutally -- and fatally -- assaulted on a bus in the capital. In Uttar Pradesh "violence against women," said activist Kavita Krishnan, who runs the All India Progressive Women's Association, a women's rights organization, "seems to be a feature of governance."

    While the state's leaders have long presided over an inept administration that enables widespread sexual violence, the younger Yadav was supposed to be different. Australia-educated, well-spoken, and charismatic, Yadav ran as a reformer who could fix Uttar Pradesh's corrupt and sclerotic bureaucracy -- and, in turn, upend the state institutions that had abetted impunity for criminal perpetrators. But two years later, he has done little to distinguish himself from the party's old guard; sexual assault remains pervasive in his state. It's a product of a systemic rape culture, according to Krishnan, that very much still "flows from the top."
    continued next post
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  6. #36
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    continued from previous

    * * *

    Mulayam, the sitting chief minister's father, founded the Samajwadi Party in 1992, after his first short stint as chief minister ended the year before. Allied with the Indian National Congress -- the center-left party that dominated national politics until its dramatic defeat in this year's general elections to the center-right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Narendra Modi -- the party pushed a grassroots, socialist platform in Uttar Pradesh, promising to boost welfare spending and reservations for minorities. But Mulayam, a former wrestler, asserted power through patronage. He forged coalitions with local strongmen from Muslim communities and with members of his own caste, who could drum up votes in exchange for favors. He also courted khap panchayats -- powerful councils of men that often rigidly enforce outdated, patriarchal traditions, including threatening couples who marry across caste lines or restricting young women from carrying cellphones.

    The chief minister even supported the political careers of gangsters like Munna Bajrangi, a contract killer (now in jail for the 2005 murder of a BJP assemblyman) who also specialized in securing government contracts. "The problem with the Samajwadi Party is the whole party structure is basically built on local mafias," said Badri Narayan Tiwari, a columnist and political scientist at G.B. Pant Social Science Institute, a leading university in Allahabad. The mafias dominate the local levels of the party, he added, "so when they come into power, they become free from any punishment."

    Mulayam served a total of three stints as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, and as national minister of defense in the 1990s; he remains one of the most powerful politicians in northern India. The political environment he fostered during his most recent run as chief minister, from 2003 to 2007, sheltered criminals from law enforcement. By the 2012 state elections, nearly half of the Samajwadi Party's 401 candidates had criminal records. With a graft-ridden justice system and power decentralized among patriarchal, local-level strongmen, accountability for sexual violence was rare.

    Still, the younger Yadav, then an MP, built support for his campaign by promising a clean break from the corrupt, inefficient governance that characterized the tenure of both his father and the then-ruling Bahujan Samaj Party, a socialist party focused on the traditionally marginalized Dalit caste. His campaign promises included free laptops for students who passed 12th grade, greater health care spending, and investment in the education of young girls. He even publicly denounced his father's friend, D. P. Yadav, a powerful mafia don and liquor bootlegger.

    In that March 2012 election, his Samajwadi Party nabbed 224 seats in the 403-seat state assembly. At the age of 38, Yadav took office as India's youngest chief minister. "In a country where the public hunger for change is palpable, yet where politics often seems unchangeable, Mr. Yadav is suddenly, unexpectedly, a symbol of a new generation," a New York Times profile read.

    But that euphoria was short-lived. In his two years in office, Yadav has done little to dismantle the architecture of official corruption his father built. Mulayam, his father, maintains significant control over the state bureaucracy, often reappointing officials with a history of corruption to high-level positions in the administration.

    Yadav's first cabinet had 47 members, allegedly handpicked by his father; 12 of them faced serious criminal charges like murder, rape, and assault. In December 2012, Uttar Pradesh's highest court ordered the administration to remove Rakesh Bahadur, a former chairman of Noida, one of New Delhi's satellite cities, who was implicated in a roughly $820 million real estate scam; this July, Bahadur became the chief minister's top advisor.

    Critics say that Yadav has simply been unwilling, or unable, to challenge the old guard that continues to profit from state institutions. "It's a typical traditional Indian feudal family: Whatever father says is law," said Sharad Pradhan, a journalist and political analyst who has tracked both father and son through their political careers. Yadav "lacks [the] will and determination and grit that [he] demonstrated during the campaign."

    Yadav's failure to tackle corruption has serious implications for the women in his state. In what remains an unprofessional and inept justice system, impunity for sexual violence is the norm. And like his father before him, Yadav empowers local, male-dominated councils that employ problematic tribal law as a means to counter sexual assault. Meanwhile, Yadav's party has opposed provisions that would advance the status of women, campaigning against tougher anti-rape laws passed by Parliament after the 2012 Delhi rape.

    Sexual violence is particularly pervasive against Uttar Pradesh's Dalits, a historically marginalized group of roughly 35 million that ranks low on India's caste system hierarchy. Part of this could be a revenge tactic, activists say, since the former government under Mayawati, a Samajwadi Party rival and a Dalit woman herself, invested specifically in Dalit leaders, fueling tension among the other castes, like the Yadavs, the chief minister's caste (and namesake).

    According to Askari Naqvi, a human rights lawyer based in Lucknow, sexual violence is often also a statement of caste power and revenge. "Although you voted for [a certain candidate], don't you dare think you are equal or anything," he said. "The dominant castes are feeling very, very powerful. So they are trying to show Dalits that they cannot claim some kind of equality. Especially with these hangings," he said, referring to the highly publicized Badaun case in May. The Yadav-caste police officers in the village initially refused to register the murder case, allegedly even threatening to murder the Dalit girls' family members, according to local media reports and investigations from human rights groups. "Because she was born as a Dalit she doesn't have a right to say no to rape or the use of her body or violence against her body," said Vimal Thorat, a leader of the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, an advocacy group that fights against caste discrimination. "And if she raises her voice she will be killed."

    * * *

    Chief Minister Yadav's inability to stem pervasive sexual violence in his state seems born more out of weakness than malice. With no concrete efforts to clean up law enforcement, build judicial capacity, or combat the caste system that divides communities across the state, his efforts seem to address the symptoms and not the disease. "The chief minister needs to set an example, to say we are ending this now -- we are absolutely not going to make any more excuses" for sexual violence, says Krishnan of the All India Progressive Women's Association.

    Yadav's party offers little hope for a more effective and humane public debate on rape, insisting instead that the state has been made a scapegoat on the national scene. "This is a problem for everyone in the society, but this doesn't mean we're worse off," said Chaudhary, the Samajwadi Party spokesperson. "People want to make this political instead of social. There is investment from the government on this but every time it gets sidelined by politics."

    Yadav has at least begun to acknowledge that violence against women is a problem in his state. After a 38-year-old woman was gang-raped in June, he told AFP that "the government must sincerely work to make sure such incidents do not happen." He has made small efforts to support women, establishing a safety hotline for women to directly reach law enforcement without leaving their homes and proposing a martial arts program for girls across the state. But until the costs of inaction outweigh the benefits of his half-hearted approach, little is likely to change for women. "The challenge is to create an alternative discourse that makes it politically costly to be sexist," Krishnan says. In the Yadavs' Uttar Pradesh, that will be very difficult.

    Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR
    I won't claim to understand India at all, but I lived there for a two months and while there, my wife was constantly harassed by eve-teasers.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaichiMantis View Post
    I wonder if I will ever see articles where an Indian woman/girl has successfully prevented rape by using self defense training...
    Yep, I would like to read such statistics too. But first let me state my stand on the topic. It would be practical if woman have martial art skill carrying some sort of street weapon to be able to defend herself. Look, reality is ugly. Man is at least twice stronger than woman. And nowadays, gang rape is a hit sexual crime. So even man does need to carry street weapon in order to defend himself. This is especially true if one is living in the Rape Champion Country like India.



    Yours truly,

    KC
    Hong Kong

  8. #38
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    Endorsed by the Dalai Lama

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveLau View Post
    Rape Champion Country
    Champion? srsly?

    Indian girls should learn martial arts for self defence: Dalai Lama
    Last Updated: Thursday, October 2, 2014 - 10:29


    The Dalai Lama, the 79-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, convened an inter-faith meeting in September, 2014, in New Delhi. The purpose of the meeting was to address some of the most important issues ailing the society, particularly in India.

    In an interview to Ashok Kumar of OneWorld South Asia, Tibet's 'living God’ warning about the degeneration of environment urged the world community to act immediately. Excerpts from the interview.

    OneWorld South Asia: Spiritual leaders have come together on a common platform to talk on various issues ranging from women safety to environment conservation. What kind of impact do you think they can make on our society?

    Dalai Lama: All major spiritual traditions are concerned with the well being of humanity. When we talk about well being of humanity we need to bear in mind that planet earth is our home and we need to take care of it.

    OWSA: What kind of threat do you see to the natural environment globally, particularly in India?

    Dalai Lama: If modern technology renders our planet unusable, we don’t have an option of going to another planet. Earth is the only home for human beings. We have to be seriously concerned about the well being of our planet.

    Once the environment is damaged it cannot be reversed. The damage stays forever or at least for some decades. We must make all efforts to spread awareness about the importance of environment protection.

    In Tibet, one can drink water in rivers unlike in India where some of the water resources have been polluted to the core. We must stop polluting our rivers and streams.

    Environmental degradation will lead to numerous hazards such as breathing problems and poor eyesight. The world community should come together and act before it is too late.

    OWSA: Do you think the onus of environment conservation is on some developed countries or the whole world?

    Dalia Lama: The onus of environment conservation is duty of the whole world. Every nation has the responsibility towards its protection.

    We must spread awareness on the planet about the delicate nature of our environment.

    OWSA: India has been grappling with the issue of rising sexual crimes against women. How do you think the country can effectively fight this scourge?

    Dalia Lama: Religious leaders can play a very important role in curbing crimes against women. Also, education and awareness is equally significant.

    I think there is a big contradiction in our society. Ideally, men need women and vice versa. God created women for humanity. Even children bear closer relationship to their mother than their father which signifies the importance of women.

    Thousands of years back, men and women enjoyed equal status. Both men and women would work together and there was no concept of leadership. But gradually, because of certain reasons, the male dominance emerged in the society which led to exploitation (of women).

    We should not forget that men and women are equal pillars of humanity and they should be treated as such.

    OWSA: Any message you would like to give to the young girls in India.

    Dalia Lama: The idea of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to train school girls in martial arts seems a practical solution.

    For self defence, young girls in India should learn martial arts like Karate. In the long run, education can be an effective tool in helping girls to stand up against sexual crimes.

    Lower castes should pay more attention in education. They should particularly educate their girls. People who are well off should help the poor people in getting education.
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  9. #39
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    Female taxi drivers from Goa

    When I was in India, I cannot remember ever seeing a female taxi driver. But that was over a decade and a half ago, and I didn't make it to Goa. If I am fortunate enough to ever go back to India, I would love to go to Goa.

    Women Trained in Martial Arts to Run Goa Taxis
    Cities | Indo-Asian News Service | Updated: October 16, 2014 15:57 IST


    Representational image

    Panaji: The Goa government on Thursday rolled out its first lot of radio taxis driven by women trained in martial arts.

    The service was launched by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. According to Goa Tourism Development Corporation chairperson Nilesh Cabral, the objective of starting the service was to underline the fact that Goa is a safe tourist destination for women.

    "We want to send a message that Goa is a safe place for tourists especially for women. These taxis are especially for women. One of the rules of the taxis is that there should be at least one woman passenger in a group of passengers, if they want to avail of this service," Cabral told IANS, ahead of the launch event.

    "They (taxis) are equipped with a chart of the government approved rates. The GPS (Global Positioning System) has been installed in the radio taxis," Cabral said.

    The taxis will be allotted across the coastal belt, especially popular beaches like Calangute, Candolim, Colva and others. The women drivers have been trained in the martial arts and had the basic knowledge of the state's and its tourism sites.

    "We will expand shortly. Taxis run by men are welcome to use our platform, provided they are willing to undergo our training process," Cabral said.

    Goa is one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country and attracts nearly three million tourists annually.Women Trained in Martial Arts to Run Goa Taxis
    Panaji, Oct 16 (IANS) The Goa government on Thursday rolled out its first lot of radio taxis driven by women trained in martial arts.

    The service was launched by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. According to Goa Tourism Development Corporation chairperson Nilesh Cabral, the objective of starting the service was to underline the fact that Goa is a safe tourist destination for women.

    "We want to send a message that Goa is a safe place for tourists especially for women. These taxis are especially for women. One of the rules of the taxis is that there should be at least one woman passenger in a group of passengers, if they want to avail of this service," Cabral told IANS, ahead of the launch event.


    "They (taxis) are equipped with a chart of the government approved rates. The GPS (Global Positioning System) has been installed in the radio taxis," Cabral said.

    The taxis will be allotted across the coastal belt, especially popular beaches like Calangute, Candolim, Colva and others. The women drivers have been trained in the martial arts and had the basic knowledge of the state's and its tourism sites.

    "We will expand shortly. Taxis run by men are welcome to use our platform, provided they are willing to undergo our training process," Cabral said.

    Goa is one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country and attracts nearly three million tourists annually.
    Story First Published: October 16, 2014 15:37 IST
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  10. #40
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    Yay! Finally fighting back on a bus http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-30272990
    "The true meaning of a given movement in a form is not its application, but rather the unlimited potential of the mind to provide muscular and skeletal support for that movement." Gregory Fong

  11. #41
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    I had to read this a few times before I understood it....

    ...actually, I'm still not sure I understand it. IndianEnglish gets pretty clunky sometimes.

    Mental kung-fu with black belt girl’s family
    Soumittra S Bose, TNN | Dec 17, 2014, 03.50AM IST

    NAGPUR: Martial artists often impress everyone by smashing bricks or wood planks with bare hands. This diarist, despite remaining zillion lights years away from any combat skill, had to crack the mental blocks of the Pullarwar family of Juni Shukrawari before they allowed their 17-year-old daughter Pournima, a black belt holder, to speak to TOI, narrating how she had disciplined three Road Romeos without trepidation.

    The write-up, which shot the Std XII student to instant fame including a trophy from none other than Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis last week and another award end of this month, was achieved after a great deal of convincing and coaxing with generous mix of diplomatic persuasion as it risked the girl's reputation and family's social ostracism.

    The story also had a legal risk as it revealed the identity of the minor girl who is also the complainant in a case of outraging of modesty registered at Sakkardara police station. Still, it was a conscious decision to go beyond the norms to highlight an aspect for a benefit bigger than the rule itself. It was far more important to project that the women in today's world need to fight back than to surrender.

    Trauma was writ large on everyone's face in the family which had to strive quite a lot and convince police to register a genuine complaint only a day before this diarist wanted the Pullarwars, particularly Pournima, to recount the entire episode for print.

    Grandfather Vijay and his wife Vimal were worried about Pournima's future, especially her marriage prospects which may get jeopardized after the 'badnaami' in the newspaper. The grandparents were hesitant despite this diarist's utmost attempts to mollify their fears. This diarist even evoked his background in legal education to convince the family. An overprotective cousin, who is in the police force, too felt that publicity in the wrong perspective would mar the girl's reputation and cripple the future.

    But, two things that came to the notice of the diarist at the Pullarwar's residence, helped break open the defence of the family. One, Pournima's set of medals won in different championships of Karate-do and the other was a sepia-toned photograph of the girl's great grandparents — Vasudev and Radhabai — who were freedom fighters.

    The Pullarwars slowly but surely got convinced regarding this diarist's intentions after they were promised that Pournima's bravery of thrashing the miscreants would be highlighted along with her achievements in sports and her proud lineage of freedom fighters.

    Last but not the least, it was the almost god-sent nod from the cousin in police who agreed on the condition that a copy of content would be shown to him too.

    The rest was, of course, history for the Pullarwars.
    Gene Ching
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  12. #42
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    Kung Fu Indian Female Cab Drivers

    A two-fer for this thread today!

    Meet The Kung Fu Indian Female Cab Drivers Keeping Women Safe
    Barcroft Media
    Posted: 12/12/2014 13:42 GMT Updated: 13/12/2014 03:59 GMT

    After an alleged rape by an Uber cab driver in India, women in Mumbai are turning to a new taxi service – run by women trained in kung fu.

    

Viira Cabs is run strictly by women, for women and drivers are trained in deadly karate and armed with knives and pepper spray. 



    Rape and treatment of women has become a huge issue in India since the gang rape and murder of medical student on a bus in 2012.



    Driver Anita Manney, 35, said: "We feel safe. Before I used to feel insecure but Viira has taught us safety measures. 



    "As well as karate, we keep pepper spray handy to avoid anything wrong."



    The service was the brainchild of 35-year-old entrepreneur and social activist Preeti Sharma Menon, who wanted women to be able to travel safely around the clock.

    She said: "I was looking for something new to do and I wanted to do something that would make a difference."

    Preeti is dedicated to championing women’s equality, and many of the Viira drivers are the sole bread-winners in their family.

    Cab driver Raju Chergat, 36, said: "Before, my salary was very low, but now my income has gone up - so it makes a difference.

    "I am independent I am not under anyone’s dominance. I am master of my own will and I can take care of my household."

    And the scheme is proving a big hit with Mumbai's women.

    Photographer and regular Viira Cabs passenger Sajna Sivan said: "I am a photographer, so I have lot of late nights. So when that happens I don’t want to randomly take a car with all equipment. I’d rather get someone with whom I feel comfortable.

    "I usually feel safe travelling but there are times when it gets darker and you have random people making remarks."





    Barcroft Media

    Uber, which is thought to be worth up to $50 billion, has been banned in India on the back of the alleged rape - with Thailand and Spain now following suit.

    It comes as a 26-year-old woman had used the Uber smartphone app to book a taxi home on Friday night in New Delhi but said she was taken to a secluded area and raped.
    Only C&Ped a few pix...there are more plus a vid if you follow the link.
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  13. #43
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    Slightly OT, but this thread could use the ttt

    Another martial arts trained female taxi driver.

    Meet Shabana, Mumbai's badass lady uber driver who's trained in martial arts
    by FP Staff Jul 13, 2015 15:51 IST



    Have you ever seen a woman cab driver in India? Probably very rarely.
    Varun Agarwal's Facebook page. Varun Agarwal's Facebook page.
    However, when entrepreneur Varun Agarwal got to ride with a lady uber driver Shabana in Mumbai on 11 July he had some wonderful stories to tell.
    While he was pleasantly surprised, Agarwal who has 158k followers on Facebook got over 8000 shares and more than 1200 comments for his post on Shabana.
    She still remains among the handful of female drivers employed by Uber—and that’s something the San Francisco-headquartered startup is now looking to change.
    According to Agarwal, "She gave me a very interesting statistic: apparently there are 150 women uber drivers in Mumbai alone."
    She still remains among the handful of female drivers employed by Uber—and that’s something the San Francisco-headquartered startup is now looking to change. In the next five years, Uber wants to increase the number of women drivers in India to 50,000, and will put candidates through a four-month training programme.
    When she decided to become an Uber driver her parents were shocked but she managed to convince them. And she's also trained in martial arts to stay safe on the roads.
    In an earlier article Quartz reported that,"In the next five years, Uber wants to increase the number of women drivers in India to 50,000, and will put candidates through a four-month training programme."

    Read the Facebook post here:
    I got to ride with a lady uber driver in Mumbai today. Her name is Shabana and she's been driving with Uber for a year....
    Posted by Varun Agarwal on Friday, 10 July 2015
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  14. #44
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    This really has grown into an extraordinary thread.

    I just changed 'girls' to 'women' in the post heading.

    How India's women are using martial arts to fight back against sexual violenceBy Lydia Smith
    February 1, 2016 11:11 GMT


    Women are taught how to respond if physical confrontation is unavoidable Getty

    "I have learnt jiu jitsu, which is a form of self-defence, and I know a few other girls who have done it as well," says Shreya Kukar, a student from New Delhi.

    "I definitely think learning it would help empower women. Just the fact that you know what to do if an unfortunate situation comes around helps you feel better, even if it is just mentally."

    Kukar is not the only woman to take her safety into her own hands. Sexual violence is a major problem in India. Following the gang rape and murder of student Jyoti Singh in 2012 in Delhi, an increasing number of women and girls have signed up to martial arts and self-defence classes.

    India's watershed rape case sparked a global outcry for the greater protection of India's women and children, yet four years on, many believe not enough has been done to curb soaring rates of sexual violence. More than 36,000 rapes were reported to police in 2014, but the depressing truth is that the actual number of rapes taking place annually is likely to be significantly higher.

    Vishal Jaiswal is a karate instructor in New Delhi who is currently training the department of police SPUWAC (Special Police Unit for Women and Children) in Nanakpura in self-defence. He says his classes are not just about defence techniques, but also about minimising the possibility of assault and engaging in physical confrontation. Perhaps most importantly, however, he teaches women how to respond if physical confrontation is unavoidable.

    "I really feel privileged to be able to run self-defence training for women," Jaiswal says. "This is the best thing I can do for society. I think if this training can save even one life, I will succeed in my purpose."

    Jaiwal says he was driven to run women-only classes in the wake of the sexual crimes taking place in the Indian capital. "With the help of this training, almost anyone can learn practical self-defence in a fairly short period of time without becoming an expert fighter. Our major target group is young people."


    Indian trainer Vishal Jaiswal instructs policewomen during a self-defence class in New Delhi Getty

    Among the most recent incidents involving children, a toddler and a five-year-old girl were raped in separate attacks in Delhi in October. And as brutal attacks against young girls continue to be reported, state governments have introduced self-defence classes into school curricula. At the beginning of this year, it was announced that 3,000 girls from schools across the capital would take part in a two-week self-defence training course.

    While some classes focus on street combat and general self-defence, other instructors are running alternative martial arts courses. Vicky Kapoor has trained in martial arts for more than four decades and now runs Krav Maga classes for women, a self-defence system developed for the Israeli Defense Forces which combines techniques from judo, boxing, wrestling and more.

    "Krav Maga is a practical and tactical fighting system developed for self-defence to protect oneself against realistic threats such as street assaults, kidnappings, rape and other menaces," Kapoor says.

    "We run classes for women to empower them with the life skill of self-defence," he says. Kapoor says the low status of women in India is a problem at the heart of the scourge of sexual violence in the country.

    Critics have pointed out that without better intervention at the source of the problem, however, rates of sexual violence will continue to rise in India. Without improved police action and ensuring the legal system benefits victims, assault rates will rise whether or not women learn to free themselves from an attacker's grip or disable a perpetrator with a strategic kick.

    The conviction rate for rape is just 28% in 2014, which has allowed a sense of impunity to thrive among those carrying out violence. Additionally, unlike in the UK, where juveniles who have committed particularly serious crimes can be held for longer periods, no such provision exists in India.


    High-profile rape cases in India have sparked fierce debate over the safety of women Reuters

    The youngest perpetrator in the 2012 killing of Singh, who was just shy of his 18th birthday when the incident took place, was released last December despite protests from the victim's family and women's rights activists. Although India's women's minister Maneka Gandhi has spearheaded a bill proposing tougher sentencing for 16 to 18 year olds, it has remained stuck in the country's upper house of parliament for months.

    One of the key factors in addressing the problem is the willingness for victims to come forward in the first place. Underreporting of sexual violence is common because of the huge stigma attached to rape. Many victims are unwilling to say they have been attacked for fear of the shame it would bring to them and their families. Many say they themselves are blamed, rather than the perpetrator.

    Some activists have condemned the India government for failing to protect women from assault – therefore forcing individuals to take responsibility for their safety, such as learning self-defence.

    "Why should we live in a society where every woman is made responsible for her own safety and security? What we really need is a system which will protect us," Ranjana Kumari, of the Delhi-based Centre for Social Research, told AFP.

    Regardless, pupils and teachers of self-defence classes maintain that until more is done to bring perpetrators of sexual violence to justice – and damaging stereotypes of women are overturned – martial arts add a layer of protection against assault.

    "Women have been subjected to discrimination on various social and psychological fronts," Kapoor says. "Krav Maga empowers women through self-defence training. This status is changing slowly and moving towards the next phase, where the nation's women are empowered physically and mentally."
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  15. #45
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    Slightly OT

    Goa's women cricketers to get Israeli martial arts boost
    IANS



    Panaji, Feb 10: The Goa Cricket Association (GCA) has contacted an Israeli martial arts school to develop self-defence workshops for its women's Under-19 and Under-21 teams to boost the players' mental and physical fitness and develop a winning instinct.

    The GCA will seek to benefit from the Israeli martial art technique, named Krav Maga. It is a self-defence technique pioneered first by the Israeli armed forces, but over the years it has found followers across the globe.

    The martial art is a combination of various forms of fighting like boxing, aikido, judo, wrestling and is considered as one of the better fighting arts, especially when it comes to real-world combat scenarios.

    Elroy Vaz, an expert of the technique of the Krav Maga Global (KMG) who has been roped in by the GCA, said the martial art would help make the women players mentally tougher and react better to tough situations in the game.

    "Our brief is to instill a spirit of aggression into the players in the Under-19 and Under-21 age groups. We will be conducting workshops where their mental and physical techniques would be developed with the help of Krav Maga," Vaz told IANS on Wednesday.

    Vaz says he has already devised several on-field scenarios for women batsmen and bowlers, in which, infusion of Krav Maga techniques would help them respond better.

    "Mental toughness and qualitative reactions are essential when say a batsman is being hounded by a fast bowler with bouncers. With Krav Maga techniques, we not only can help the batsmen react better physically, but also help them to develop a winning edge in their thought processes," Vaz said.

    The KMG is one of the foremost exponents of the martial art globally. It has been used to train the elite Indian Navy's marine commandos or MARCOS, best remembered for their anti-terror operation following the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

    According to GCA president Chetan Desai, the decision to enlist Krav Maga experts was taken to ensure that women cricketers benefit from it professionally as well as for self-defence.

    "It helps to be prepared. We are hoping that it will help develop a winning instinct in the team," Desai said.
    Krav Maga for female Indian cricket. Who'd a thunk?
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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