Safety first

ST Correspondent
Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Jai Dhar Gupta, CEO Mace India, which makes products like pepper sprays, personal alarm, talks about the safety tools that can be gifted to women

India is progressing in every aspect of life but simultaneously, there is a rise in the crimes against women too. For a society which reveres and worships goddesses, this reflects the dichotomy between our thinking and actions. Until the entire society wakes up to the notion of gender parity, women will have to ensure their own safety, of course, without compromising on their right to express themselves. 

As for self-security, there are a number of ideas. Here, we will talk of equipping women with non-lethal, self-security tools like pepper spray, a small knife, safety alarm, safety rods and so on. These products help create a temporary disturbance or discomfort for the assaulter, impair the assailant’s senses, giving time to the victim to escape or call for help, etc. The products are stylishly disguised as lipstick cases or key chains. They are compact and can be fitted in the shoes, hair brushes, purses or pockets. 

How one can use these safety tools?

Pepper Sprays: They come in many shapes, sizes and colours and are usually disguised into a harmless day to day object. One just needs to take it out, remove the safety lid, point in the direction of the assailant and spray the pepper content laced with UV dye which will help to identify the miscreant even after the mishap. The pepper spray has a lingering effect on the assailant as it blinds them for a good amount of time and creates lasting irritation to the eyes, which is non-lethal.

Safety rod: A compact extendable device which can be used to hit back at the miscreant to stop his unruly advances. The device can be used as a stick to hit the assailant to buy some time to find a secure spot or grab the attention of smart civilians.

Pocket knives: These knives can be used to harm the assailant in a non-lethal way and wound him to a level where it buys enough time for the woman to find a safe spot. A woman can use this knife to create puncture wounds, slash body parts or cut away the ropes if tied down.

Safety alarms: The alarms just work like a car key and when pressed they produce a high pitch sound to alert anyone nearby that you are in danger. These can be used in crowded or secluded place to draw attention towards yourself when in distress. 

Learn self-defence techniques

In spite of easy availability of platforms teaching self-defence, not many women think of equipping themselves with these to safeguard themselves. Self-defence training, along with self-defence tools, can increase the probability of staying safe. After all, there are many martial arts being taught by professionals including Tai-Chi, Taekwondo, Judo and Karate, Kung fu, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and so on.

Yet not many women come forward to learn them. The reason? They feel that these things will never happen to them. While there is no denying the fact that a sense of respect towards women has to be inculcated among all the boys and men right from the childhood, we need to be always equipped, should an untoward situation occur. 

Having said that, women need to remember that the most important thing to possess is the confidence to fight and face the situation. If there is a lack of confidence, no equipment would work. 

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