A literature lover who likes delving deeper into a wide range of societal issues and expresses her opinions about the same. Keeps looking for best-read recommendations while enjoying her coffee and tea.
Shivani Sisodia was in Class X and was returning home from school along with her friend when a few boys surrounded them and started passing lewd comments and tried to molest them. Shivani got scared and started screaming for help.
The prompt action taken by Shivani forced the boys to flee, and the girls escaped unhurt.
The next day when Shivani shared her experience with her friends, she was surprised to know that many girls had similar experiences.
When she asked why they did not resist, most girls said that they had no idea how to fight off the boys who were much older and stronger.
Following the distasteful experience, Shivani decided to make herself physically and mentally strong to teach a lesson to the "boys".
She enrolled herself for self-defence lessons at the Rajasthan Karatians School in Bharatpur. Her mother, a school teacher, and her father, a yoga trainer, supported Shivani for this step.
After getting trained in self-defence skills, the 18-year-old decided to start an initiative to impart training to other girls in her district.
The second-year student of BA trains girls in techniques that can protect them from eve-teasers and molesters. In the past two years, Shivani has trained over 1,500 school and college going girls in a range of self-defence techniques.
"I should be a stronger person to defend myself in any situation. I am blessed to have a wonderful trainer who has taught me basic survival skills and self-defence techniques," Shivani told The New Indian Express.
Her trainer Onkar Pancholi is the director of Karatians School Rajasthan, who is also a certified NIS martial art trainer and a black belt holder. He imparts free self-defence training to girls and women to help them fight harassment.
Talking about Shivani, Pancholi recalls how quickly she learnt most of the lessons.
"Our school teaches girls some self-defence techniques. But Shivani's skill levels surpass those of most teenagers of her age. She is also a national level judo player who won a silver medal two years back at a national tournament in Punjab. She also has a special style in training girls to combat eve-teasers, and she gets deeply involved with her students," adds Pancholi.
Besides training students at the academy, Shivani conducts special one-week and one-month courses in several schools and colleges in the Bharatpur district.
Pancholi and Shivani run women self-defence campaigns in the city to make women stronger.
Shivani admits that the real challenge is that we have to train without resorting to any weapon. Shivani says that the first thing that she teaches them is to use their voice and scream the loudest because normally most girls just become silent when eve-teasers attack them.
She also shared that she teaches them how to respond if somebody catches their hand and tries to molest them. She further adds that she teaches them to use their nails and teeth to attack, and once they learn basic tricks, most girls feel much more confident in stepping out of their homes.
A number of girls who have been trained under Shivani say such techniques have raised their confidence level.
A student of Shivani, Pooja Faujdar, who studies in Class IX, shares, "I used to feel nervous going out as I was scared of obscene comments on the way. But now, my friends and I feel we can handle such harassment from eve-teasers."
Another student, Kushi Singh, who studies in BA, says reports of rapes and sexual assaults had terrified her. However, Kushi admits that after training, she feels that she can defend herself and now is confident about facing any situation.
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