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Kolkata Police now takes Tejaswini online

4 December, 2020 08:37:45
Kolkata Police now takes Tejaswini online

Two years ago, Kolkata Police came up with a unique concept they called ‘Tejaswini’. The result: on May 19, 2018, a total of 156 women of every shape and size, and varying degrees of fitness, roughly ranging in age from 15 to 40, gathered at the Police Athletic Club ground next to Eden Gardens stadium for a five-day workshop on basic self-defence, absolutely free of cost. And so long was the queue of those who couldn’t participate in the workshop owing to lack of room, that the bosses at KP realised that they would have to consider holding regular workshops every year, preferably more than once.

Why Tejaswini? Primarily to teach women basic self-defence techniques to enable them to counter unwanted physical advances. As countless women have found out the hard way, molestation and sexual harassment are so common in buses, trains, simply walking along the road, in workplaces, or even in their own homes, that it is practically impossible for any law enforcement agency to deal with these incidents individually. Therefore, what better way to counter them than teaching women themselves how to stop a molester from advancing any further, without having to depend on anyone else for help? 

Why Tejaswini? Primarily to teach women basic self-defence techniques to enable them to counter unwanted physical advances. As countless women have found out the hard way, molestation and sexual harassment are so common in buses, trains, simply walking along the road, in workplaces, or even in their own homes, that it is practically impossible for any law enforcement agency to deal with these incidents individually.

For much of this year, of course, the Covid pandemic has ensured that offline classes cannot be held. But that hasn’t stopped Tejaswini from marching ahead, which is why the fourth edition of the workshop is to be held online, from December 5-9, under the guidance of martial arts expert Avijit Mitra, a black belt in Aikido. As in the three previous editions, classes will be held from 8.00 to 10.00 a.m. for participants aged between 12 and 40, and online registrations close on December 4, at 5.00 p.m. Again as earlier, there will only be room for a limited number of participants, which makes timely registration important, free of cost, of course.

“The principal advantage of Tejaswini is that you need not have any previous experience to learn these self-defence techniques. Literally anyone can participate,” says Additional Commissioner of Police (II) Supratim Sarkar, in charge of the Community Policing division.

Can any meaningful training really be imparted in five days? If you go by the overwhelming response to the first three editions, the answer seems to be a resounding yes. Of course, as the trainers will tell you, whether you choose to keep practising what you learn at the workshop, or forget about it as soon as you go home, is up to you.

For the workshop held in March this year, among the special guests at the closing ceremony were filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh and actors Abhishek Bachchan and Chitrangada Singh, in Kolkata to shoot for their film ‘Bob Biswas’. Also present was MP and actor Mimi Chakraborty. As Chitrangada had said on that occasion, “The more such workshops are held, the better. This is essential for women’s safety in our day and age.”

A bonus for participants this time will be special sessions on cyber crime and how to tackle it, to be held by senior Kolkata Police officials. This is particularly relevant considering the amount of sexual harassment women now face online.

Just a reminder of the essentials once again: online registrations for Tejaswini close on December 4, at 5.00 p.m. Those interested may either log in to www.kpsgtinst.org or send a registration request via WhatsApp on the number 97484 38165

Story Tag:
  • Kolkata Police, Online courses, Tejaswini

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