Palak a journalism graduate believes in simplifying the complicated and writing about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. She calls herself a " hodophile" or in layman words- a person who loves to travel.
The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) which runs the public buses in the Karnataka's capital has decided to include self-defence training for its women staff and also to conduct sessions on gender sensitisation.
The New Indian Express reported on the initiative where the women employees operating the bus fleets would be offered training in karate, judo and martial arts. Additionally, the entire workforce would also be offered sessions on several soft skills including gender sensitisation, self-assertiveness, legal knowledge, counselling skills, and public speaking.
"There are instances where women staff of BMTC who work as conductors and security personnel are also at the receiving end of such unacceptable behaviour from commuters as well as from their male colleagues," read an official statement. It added that the move is aimed at empowering them to be "custodians of their own safety."
An official involved in the decision-making process said that the courses would be of 42-hours duration and would be taught over 21 days. The sessions would be two-hour-long and would be tailor-made in a way that women of all age groups would benefit from it.
"The course content will be based on typical threatening scenarios that they may encounter in everyday life and easy techniques to extricate themselves out of such situations using simple defensive and offensive moves," the official said.
Reportedly, over 3000 women bus conductors are part of the BMTC force operating in hundreds of routes across Bengaluru.
"We face difficulty dealing with some passengers. After receiving this training, we will learn how to safeguard ourselves. It is a good move by the state government," said a BMTC employee.
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