It was not long ago that the Police Department honoured sub-inspector V. Krishnankutty for imparting free karate training to hundreds of tribal children at schools in Attappady. He wanted to help them resist exploitation and abuse. The then Director General of Police Jacob Punnoose had come to Palakkad to present him a commendation certificate.
But the programme, which mainly focussed on tribal students’ hostels, did not last long. A debate was initiated by a few politicians and officials on whether tribal children should be trained in karate. They felt the sessions would affect the children’s studies and hence should be discontinued, or taken up only during holidays. The Integrated Tribal Development Project soon ordered that the training be stopped immediately.
Mr. Krishnankutty then took karate to the government high school at Big Bazar Street in Palakkad town. Twelve students, including five girls, started learning under him. Inspired, a parent too joined the students. Now, all the children, and the parent, have been awarded the black belt. They have taken a pledge to propagate karate as a means of self-defence.
“Each one of us will train at least a dozen new students. They too will train more. We hope to cover whole district thus,” said B. Akshaya, a class 10 student of the school, and a black belt holder.
“This is for the first time that a dozen children of a school are getting black belt. I am hopeful of restarting karate training in Attappady,” said Mr Krishnakutty, who emphasises on the confidence the martial art form will instil in students.
A policeman trained 12 students of a school; they in turn plan to train a district.