Self-defence training at State schools

Pranita Roy
Saturday, 16 February 2019

The first petition that I have received is from a Pune citizen and a mother, Neha Shrimal. Neha and 1.37 lakh citizens have asked me to Make self-defence training compulsory for all the schools in Maharashtra. I have heard you and 1.37 lakh citizens. — Vinod Tawde (Maharashtra Education Ministe)

PUNE: The State Government is likely to make self-defence a compulsory part of curriculum in schools. State Minister for School Education, Higher and Technical Education Vinod Tawde in a response to a petition filed on implementation of the same, stated that the Maharashtra government is considering making ‘self-defence a compulsory part of the school curriculum’. 

The decision was taken after Pune-based Neha Shrimal, self-defence coach, filed a petition insisting on the same to the State Education Minister in March 2018. Shrimal gained support of 1.37 lakh citizens. 

Shrimal, also a worried mother of a seven-year-old daughter stated that the absence of self-defence classes in many schools especially in rural areas had raised the concern about the need for such an activity as a part of the academic session. “I observed a common attitude among girls studying in schools in rural areas, that boys do eve-tease girls and they should be fine with it and are used to it. They fear that if they complain about it to their parents then they won’t be allowed to attend school,” said Shrimal, who works as a trainer at several rural-based schools. 

“Our children are unaware about how to react while defending and saving themselves from strangers, like when to enter a lift, when to shout and run, how to say no and defend ourselves, how to push the culprit to the ground to hit him etc. It is necessary that all children know these basic self-defence methods,” said Shrimal.  The self-defence coach gets several calls from principals of government schools in and around Pune to train their students.

“These principals are worried about their students and want them to be safe while commuting to school. As unlike private schools, government schools don’t have any transport for students,” she added. 

BAL RAKSHAK
Neha Shrimal said last year after the petition was filed, the government had taken an initiative to create ‘Bal Rakshak’ in schools. “Under this a teacher would be taught self-defence and so they can further teach the skill to children in school. A circular related to it was also issued to all schools. Already there are several teachers who feel they are responsible for students’ security and have volunteered for this,” she said. 

She added making self-defence classes compulsory doesn’t mean examination and practical tests should be held. “The students shouldn’t learn it from the perspective of scoring marks by taking exams. Instead they should learn it for their personal gain,” said Shrimal. 
As the minister has positively responded on this, Shrimal is hopeful it will be soon implemented. 

A GOOD INITIATIVE
“I am pleased to inform you that as the Minister for School Education, Higher and Technical Education in Maharashtra, I have signed up as a verified Decision Maker on the platform for social change, Change.org India. I see this as an opportunity to engage with you and serve you better on issues that are related to my ministry. 

The first petition that I have received is from a Pune citizen and a mother, Neha Shrimal. Neha and 1.37 lakh citizens have asked me to “Make self-defence training compulsory for all the schools in Maharashtra”. I have heard you and 1.37 lakh citizens. 

Taking due cognisance of the petition on Change.org, I am now considering running the programme, and making it a part of the curriculum. We recently decided to introduce a hour-long sports session for school students. And we are planning to introduce self-defence as a part of these sessions. With this, we have decided to start mandatory self-defence training in schools,” said State Education Minister, Vinod Tawde.

Related News