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A programme that arms women against sexual violence

By Mamata mishra

GUWAHATI, June 23 � Repeated incidents of crime against women underline the need of a radical overhaul in policies and a change in the mindsets of administration and society. But, when it comes to dealing with any specific instance of rape, molestation or eve teasing, that particular victim is often alone at that point of time to handle the situation.

WARDA, Women Against Rape and Domestic Abuse, is a unique programme to bring awareness about rape and domestic abuse in which participants are taught how to defend against abduction, rape, sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking.

Dolly Kaur of Assam, who has undergone this training programme at Dubai and in Lonavala in Maharashtra, believes that a woman who can handle all sorts of responsibilities at home or work, must also assume some responsibility to become strong enough for knocking down an assailant.

As it has become apparent laws alone cannot ensure the safety of women. Self defence training is something that needs adequate attention both for building the self confidence in women to face any unwanted situation where alertness and physical fitness can be the only saviours.

�The issue requires some serious thinking by society, government and first of all, every individual woman. WARDA is a specific training for thwarting sexual assaults and it is very realistic, as it aims to give practical training and knowledge for an average female,� she said while talking to The Assam Tribune.

A second dan Black Belt in taekwondo, Dolly give taekwondo training to her students in TC School premises in Guwahati Club area of the city. �With increasing awareness about such programmes, small sessions of such training could be organized in schools, colleges, in offices, etc. The government and NGOs can also take initiative for preparing groups of master trainers who can reach out to the girls and women at interior areas as well,� she said.

�Being aware and alert is the key to survival and this training teaches some small but important details about guarding against a possible threat, action during a crisis situation and even the psychology of the perpetrator of such heinous crimes. I believe that it is as important for today�s women as formal education or basic manners, if not more,� said Dolly, who hails from an Assamese Sikh family of Nagaon.

The WARDA training programme was developed by grandmaster Javed Khan an 8th dan black belt in taekwondo, in 1998, after a gruesome incident of assault against a woman in Mumbai. He has conducted hundreds of workshops worldwide since then.

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