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India

Empowered Through Self-Defence

Hedwig and Robert Samuel Foundation

Delhi is regarded as the most dangerous city in India, especially for women. According to the most recent figures of the National Crime Records Bureau, a third of all violent crimes are committed against women. The Samuel Foundation’s team in India is thus very dedicated to making its female students feel safe and strong, especially for the daily commute between their home and the training centre, which for many of them is strenuous and long.

In cooperation with the municipal Police, the Foundation’s New Delhi team has organised a self-defence training for women. During the months of May and June, two five-day workshops were held at the training centres of Uttam Nagar and Garhi. Over one hundred women learned how to defend themselves in the event of an assault. In each workshop, two police women showed the participants different techniques and movements that could turn out vital in an emergency. The group of 106 women was mainly composed of Samuel students, but women from the neighborhood also joined in.

The self-defence trainings were a great success. All women felt empowered and more confident afterwards. Riya, a nineteen year old student of the Samuel Foundation, was a particularly keen participant. “Now we feel totally prepared to take care of ourselves both economically and physically. We understand the true meaning of the words freedom and liberation for the first time.” Following the workshops, the participants proudly presented their newly acquired defence techniques and received a certificate as a sign of recognition. As a sign For additional safety on Delhi’s streets Radnik Exports, a longtime associate of the Foundation, donated pepper spray for the women. Neha Tewari, Director of the Samuel Foundation in India, is truly impressed by the student’s commitment“. Judging by the look in their eyes, one could tell that they must feel constantly threatened. That is why the workshop meant so much for them. Looking at the increasing crime rate against women in India, we will implement this workshop as an inherent part of our training programme. We are also happy to see new cooperations emerging through these activities such as with the US-based NGO Green Tara Project.”

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