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‘Women should learn martial arts’

Madhur Tankha
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Prachi Desai and Vidyut Jammwal in New Delhi on Friday.— Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
Prachi Desai and Vidyut Jammwal in New Delhi on Friday.— Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

With increasing incidents of criminal assault on women and minors in the Capital, Bollywood actor and martial arts expert Vidyut Jammwal on Friday called upon women to undertake martial arts training to defend themselves.

The actor who trained in Kerala’s ancient martial arts, Kalaripayattu, while growing up in ‘God’s own country’, says it is also important to educate people on the need to treat women with respect.

“At a personal level, I have been teaching martial arts to women and young girls of small towns and big cities. My dream is to launch a martial arts academy which specialises in all departments of well-being. In every profession, women are not playing second fiddle to their male counterparts. They have made their presence felt in every arena and it is time they realise that they are physically capable of defending themselves against anyone,” he says.

Illustrating an example from his personal life, the actor says: “As a child, my mother taught me that if you kick a girl, then you break your leg and even if you hit a girl, then you break your hand. My sister has beaten me up many times but I have never raised my hand even once”.

The actor, who launched a survey titled “Thank You Mom” in the Capital, is perplexed that “77 per cent of mothers stopped pursuing their dreams after delivering their first baby”.

The survey, which was undertaken in Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata, interviewed more than 1,000 mothers.

“This is something we need to change. Mothers raise their children with love and affection and instil values in them. They do so selflessly. So is it not our duty to make them realise their dreams?” he asks. He was accompanied by his mother Vimla Jammwal and actor Prachi Desai and her mother Amrita Desai. The handsome actor said he bears resemblance to his mother who used to be “one of the prettiest models” in Jammu.

Vidyut, who was raised by his mother as his father passed away when he was young, says all mothers are incredible. “I would like to believe that my mother is the most incredible mom on this planet. She is always encouraging me and her words have cheered me up. Sometimes I come home with injuries and she says it is okay. I have a stitch on my chest and this is the reason why I am wearing a coat today.”

The actor, who was at his candid best, described himself as a confused boy who wanted to become a golfer that decided that swimming could be a better career option.

Narrating her story on how she entered the television industry and later joined Bollywood, Prachi said her mother quit her teacher’s job at Panchgani just to be with her. “Imagine, she left her home and a comfortable job just to be with me. I was 17 at that point in time. On Mother’s Day, I plan to take her and my father to Panchgani so that those memories come flooding back.”

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