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Girls in Abohar take a liking to martial arts
by Avtar Singh

     Abohar: Many girls in Punjab's Ferozepur District have developed a liking for martial arts, and some wish to learn it as a self defence technique to ward off anti-social elements. Others view it as a career option. Priyanka Karwarsara, a resident of Ramsara, a remote village of the district, is one such girl. Despite being a high school student and having parents who are hesistant about sending her alone to school., Priyanka has enrolled herself in a marital arts training course. "My aim is to win medals at the national level and make my parents and teachers proud. My principal motivates me a lot. My parents are satisfied. They know that the self-defence training that I am taking will help me protect myself. Now, I feel I don't need anybody's help, I can take care of myself," said Priyanka. Over 100 children, a majority of them girls, are taking karate lessons in Abohar under the supervision of experts. The 15-day workshop was recently organized by the Punjab Sports Department at DAV College, Abohar to make rural girls and boys tough. The free of cost workshop drew girls and boys to learn basic self defence techniques. There are plans to conduct such workshops in other regions in the coming days. It is believed that the training will help in controlling rising molestation cases against women. It is also aimed at helping the sports department to spot talent in rural areas. "There is a huge scope after learning Judo. At present when most of the students concentrate only on studies, we show equal interest in sports also, so that we are as good as anybody in any field. The girls are believed to be weaker than boys but we want to prove that girls are equally capable in all walks of life," said Geeta, a judo enthusiast. "Last time, two girls from Judo team were selected for Olympics. So the other girls can take inspiration and aim for Olympics too. They should use self-defense techniques in helping girls or any old person in need," said Ruchi, the trainer. After learning martial arts, girls and boys turns also become mentally strong. The feeling of being a victim no longer exists. Training in martial arts also motivates many learners to join the defence forces and even take up a career in the discipline. Rural youth hold tremendous talent and if given a chance they can make their mark at the national and international level.
-June 28, 2009

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