The Bihar government has decided to train one million schoolgirls
in karate so that they can use the martial art to protect
themselves from sexual harassment, an official said Friday.
"Martial art training (karate) will be given to 10 lakh
schoolgirls in 20,000 middle schools across the state," Rahul
Singh, the director of the Bihar Education Project Council, said.
The programme will be undertaken as part of the National Programme
of Education for Girls at Elementary Level, and reach 10 lakh
girls by 2014.
"At present, 1,500 girl students of 150 middle schools are being
given martial art training," he said.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has repeatedly said in the last
few months that girls should learn martial arts like judo, karate
and taekwondo. These skills are necessary for physical strength
and greater alertness, and would enable girls to defend themselves
in case they were harassed by men, the chief minister maintains.
"Martial art training is a must for girls. It would work as a
deterrent to molesters," the chief minister said last month.
Last week, Nitish Kumar announced that 10 lakh self-help groups (SHGs)
for women would be formed in the state over the next five years.
He said these would help women become economically more
The Bihar government was the first in the country to provide 50
percent reservation to women in civic bodies, including gram
The government, in 2007, launched an ambitious scheme to provide
cycles to schoolgirls, in a bid to encourage them not to drop out
of school and finish their education, even if schools were some
distance away from their homes.