It's a techie life Society

Hands on defence

Self-defence session by eWITPhoto courtesy: Technopark's Facebook page

Self-defence session by eWITPhoto courtesy: Technopark's Facebook page   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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Women in Technopark are making the right moves to keep themselves safe



In these troubled times, it’s refreshing to hear that the women in Technopark are taking their own safety into their own hands. A couple of months ago, for example, the feisty women of the local chapter of eWIT [Empowering Women in IT] joined hands with Kerala Police’s Janamaithri division’s Team Nirbhaya, to organise a self-defence class for fellow women employees. More than 50 women signed up for a free 15-hour training session on self-defence techniques, spread over a few days.

Radhika Viswanathan of eWIT explains: “Of late, crime against women has been on the rise. Handbag and/or chain snatchings, eve-teasing and the likes are a constant worry when outside. We have a number of women in Technopark who work late hours; several of them live nearby as well, which makes them vulnerable to anti-social elements when they walk/ride to and from work. We thought it was imperative to equip them with the basics of self-defence techniques,” she reasons.

Viju T., the then community relations-officer for the session, says he was impressed by the determination of the women who attended the session. “We gave them training in the basics of martial art, particularly karate. We gave them just enough hands on ammunition to respond in case of an attack or threat and get themselves to a safe zone,” he explains. Radhika adds: “What we learnt was that self-defence does not mean going for the jugular all the time but instead we were given the skills to develop mental strength and have the presence of mind to incapacitate an attacker in such a way that we can run to safety.” eWIT, she says, hopes to hold more sessions soon.

Actually, self-defence has been a priority on campus for a while now. Many companies organise self-defence sessions for their women employees, some of them quite often, others, at least, once or twice a year. Infosys’ Diversity and Inclusivity Group recently held a session on women’s health by a reputed paediatrician, in which one of the main portions was women’s safety. “The session was held a few days after the Jisha murder case, so we were all the more aware of the importance of it and how we have to always be vigilant.

We were taught simple techniques about how to be aware and alert of the environment when we are alone somewhere and what to actually do when we come under attack,” says one of the organisers. “Earlier, one of our former employees, a black belt in karate, used to hold self-defence sessions for women colleagues,” she adds.

Attinad Software too has recently begun training sessions in taekwondo for its women employees, as part of its employee wellness programme. “At first it was not easy to get women on board and we had to teach them on why and how it’s important to know self-defence. We began with just over a handful of people and now we have some 16 women who participate in the sessions. Our aim was to build the confidence of the women and already we’ve begun to see a positive change,” says Arun T.M., associate vice-president, HR. Reportedly, UST-Global also conducts martial arts (kung fu/karate) sessions, occasionally, for both men and women employees.

To top it off, several of the women in leadership positions in Technopark are now part of a first responders WhatsApp group, along with the Commissioner of Police, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Technopark officials and the like, the priority of which is safety first of women in Technopark.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 10:41:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/Hands-on-defence/article14425889.ece

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