Durga Vahini ( women’s army named after Hindu goddess Durga) , the women’s wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), (World Hindu Organisation) is holding a camp for women in Varanasi (historic Hindu holy city) to train them in the ‘art of self defence’ which includes learning how to use firearms.
Durga Vahini, the women’s wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), is holding a camp for women in Varanasi to train them in the art of self defence which includes learning how to use firearms.
The week-long camp at the Bharti Public School in Sigra area of Varanasi is giving training to 100 women and girls and Kamla Misra, convenor of the camp, said that all the participants belong to districts in eastern UP.
“The participants have come here from 11 adjoining districts and want to learn how to protect themselves. Some are even keen to learn how to counter terrorism because we all know that terrorists do not wish to die at the hands of women. We are teaching them how to use rifles, lathis and also learn martial arts,” she said.
Shalini Soni, one of the participants in the camp, said that her parents had sent her to the camp because they wanted her to learn how to defend herself and also her country.
Another participant Smridhi Awasthi said that she would set up a similar camp in her village and impart training to other girls. Trainer Richa Varma, meanwhile, said that the girls and women were being taught basics of martial arts so that they can defend themselves in adverse circumstances instead of waiting for police help. “Our focus is to teach them how to immobilise the opponent till they get help,” she said.
Varanasi IG Bhagat Singh, however, said that the camp was searched by police for weapons but nothing objectionable had been found at the training site.
Meanwhile, a VHP leader said that the camp in Varanasi was being held by Durga Vahini after a gap of almost 10 years.
The VHP leader said that women must be equipped in self defence and this will empower women and check crime against women.
It may be recalled that a similar training camp held in Ayodhya ( a city historically linked with Hinduism) last week had led to a major controversy and the convenor of the camp Mahesh Misra was arrested and sent to 14 day judicial remand for hurting religious sentiments and spreading hatred.