Wasma Asif, 15, daily walks home from her school in a neighbourhood where young girls are often subjected to harassment and lewd comments. So, a determined Asif has learnt to use her book and pen as a weapon against rowdies, courtesy a self-defence workshop.
"Sometimes we are scared, because the boys comment on us, but now I feel we have the confidence to face them!" a proud Asif, a Class 9 student at Jamia school in Jamia Nagar here, told IANS.
Punches, attacks, blocks, kicks, standing action, hair grip plus book and pen attack are the main features of the workshop. However, the secret weapon is the 'the lower kick' in the groin region of the male harasser.
"It never fails, though it is our last resort," said Asif as she stretched her legs and arms as part of the warm-up session.
Organised by Jamia Millia Islamia and Delhi Police, the annual workshop focuses on teaching school girls the basic self-defence techniques to thwart any unwanted advances from the opposite sex in public transport or on the road.
At present over 200 young women are being trained in the university's gymnasium everyday in two batches - the morning batch for the girls from Jamia Milia Islamia Higher Secondary School and the afternoon for Jamia university girls.
The 14-day workshop commenced Nov 26.
"We organise a lot of self-defence workshops. Crime against women in Delhi is on the rise and we want our girls to be safe," said Tarannum Siddiqui, a research assistant at Jamia and a key organiser of this project.
"Three female trainers from the special police unit of women and children teach the girls. They will be trained to defend themselves against harassment or molestation attempts in public places," she added.
Siddiqui said as most of the girls are students of mass communication or social studies, working late night or staying out at odd hours should not become an occupational hazard for them.
Her views were shared by the trainers as well.
"We want children to have self-confidence in themselves so we teach them these techniques," said Laxmi Kant, assistant commissioner of police and one of the trainers.
Now in its fourth year, the university plans to continue the workshops every semester as it had received phenomenal response from parents as well. Jamia will also organise a similar workshop for its academic staff as well.