Olympic boxer Mary Kom launches self-defence app and first ever 'female fight club' in India
New app and SMS service will offer advice and tips to women
Wednesday 15 January 2014
Five-time World Boxing Champion and Olympic medallist Mary Kom is launching a new mobile initiative in India to help teach women self-defence.
Comprising of an app that offers hints and tips to staying safe as well as a free SMS-based service, it’s hoped that the project will help women feel safer in a country that suffers from rife and often unreported sexual violence.
Alongside the app, Kom is also in the process of setting up India’s first female ‘fight club’ to run alongside her self-defence camp. The works is being conducted in partnership with mobile network Vodafone as part of their ‘Firsts’ campaign.
"Most of the women are really excited and really happy to learn something," said Kom about the self-defence camp in an interview with Wired.co.uk.
“The women are learning techniques like the one-two step, so I think that will be helpful in the future. And if they keep training that will really help them protect themselves."
Violence against women in India came to the attention of the international press following reports of a vicious incident in 2012 in which a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was gang raped by six men in a private bus.
The woman later died of her injuries and four men involved have been sentenced to death. Protests across India followed, calling for a stronger approach to sexual violence by law enforcement.
Other, more militant reactions, have been met with mixed responses - including the manufacture of a light-weight revolver marketed towards women. The gun costs $2,000 and weighs 500 grams, with Sartaj Singh of India’s Ministry of Defence describing it as “easy to handle and fits nicely in a lady’s purse”.
However, the pistol was named ‘in honour’ of the woman murdered in 2012, and activists have called the gun “an abhorrence to [her] memory”.
Initiatives such as those led by Mary Kom are just a drop in the ocean compared to the widespread sexual violence that afflicts India, but may still provide a lifeline to those involved.
"We are really affected as women. Day by day the crime increases," said Kom. "It is a great opportunity for me to help women especially, to give tips that might help in the future."
Life & Style blogs
Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
Is Apple's iCloud safe after leak of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities' nude photos?
Reader dilemma: My wife only wants to have sex when she's drunk
Three quarters of the Ikea catalogue is CGI
Anal sex study reveals climate of 'coercion'
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Derivatives Risk Commodities Business A...
£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Power & Gas Business Analyst/Subject Ma...
£600 - £900 per day: Harrington Starr: Infrastructure Lead, (Trading infrastru...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organ...