Over 150 women and girls participated in a self-defence workshop at Surat with a view to make themselves able to ward off sexual assault in the light of the growing threat to women's safety.
Systematized by the Surat police, this workshop saw school and college students, young professionals and housewives try their hands at basic moves of various martial arts that would enable them to ward off sexual assault.
"This is a self-defence course especially designed for women. The Surat police have given us this task in the light of recent incidents. We are combining the Krav Maga technique from Israel, the Japanese Aiki Jujitsu technique and karate in this workshop," said Wispy Kharadi, one of the trainers.
The workshop was welcomed by women whose jobs involved fieldwork and travel to places where they felt unsafe.
"My job involves fieldwork, and I go to a place where I am vulnerable, and I feel insecure. The police cannot come help me everywhere, so my basic motive is to protect myself in the initial stages of an attack," said Ankita Ghayel, an attendee at the workshop.
Self-defence workshops, protests and calls for stronger laws to protect women and punish sex offenders have risen across India in the past month after the brutal gang rape of a 23 year-old medical student inside a moving bus in New Delhi.
The victim breathed her last at Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital on December 29 after battling for life for 13 days.