Times of India Newspaper
“Twist and turn …straight punch” — an instructor barks out these orders in a room full of women learning to kick and punch their way out of trouble.
It’s a place where young female professionals are undergoing training in Krav Maga, the lethal Israeli martial art through Franklin Joseph. With an alarming rise in crime against women professionals, many firms have started offering self-defence training courses to their female employees.
[KravMagaBangalore.in] [Post] The trend is more pronounced in the BPO industry where women often have to work on the graveyard shift. As more and more women swipe into offices, harassment is one of the issues they encounter as they step out of their homes.
Manisha Bedi (name changed), a 24-year-old executive, is thrilled about a session organised by her employer where she discovered the technique of how to kick, strike a blow and get out of an attacker’s grip.
Crimes against women, including sexual harassment and rape, have gone up 93% and 40%, respectively, in 2007 compared to 1996, according to National Crime Records Bureau and Home Ministry. A significant number of women are employed in the services sector — IT-BPO, airlines, hospitality, hospitals and retail.
Over 35% women comprise the workforce of the $60 billion IT BPO sector. A few years ago, the rape and murder of a call centre executive had rocked the industry, underscoring the lapses and loopholes in corporate security practices. To safeguard women’s interests, companies are conducting self-defence workshops on the campus.
A power-to-telecom corporate has arranged a post-lunch 90-minute session for its women employees to practise fist-to-face moves. Such initiatives help in promoting women empowerment and gender inclusiveness, said industry observers. At these Krav Maga Self Defense workshops, women are not only given training in the physical aspects of warding off an attack but are also taught to be mentally alert.
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