The Mamata Banerjee government has geared up to make the female students in Bengal feel safer. Recently she announced a Self-defence Workshop programme for all girl students enrolled in various undergraduate colleges throughout the state. Under the project, the colleges will be conducting a three-week workshop on self-defence techniques, every year. Apart from the students the training is open to female teachers working at the University.
The programme is an extension of the chief minister’s pet girl child welfare project, Kanyashree, which started in 2013. The project has been recently felicitated by United Nations award for public services.
The Directorate of Public Instruction (DPI), has forwarded a notice to all government-run and government-aided colleges to initiate the self-defence programmes. This was done after the state Women & Child Development and Social Welfare Department forwarded a request to the State Higher Education Department to initiate the same.
“The self-defence training will be helpful in enhancing the confidence of the students.” – DIP official
“The Chief Minister has recently announced extension of Kanyashree Scheme for girl students to undergraduate levels. Under this extension programme, self-defence trainings will be given to girls students in all government-run and government-aided colleges in the state,” confirmed an official of DIP.
“Accordingly DIP, which comes under the state higher education department, sent notices to all such institutions. The expenditure will be borne by State Women & Child Development and Social Welfare Department from fund allocated under the Kanyashree Scheme,” the DIP official said.
“The individual colleges will be responsible for conducting the workshops involving local institutions, or clubs conducting martial art training. The DIP official said, “If necessary, help of experts from the Kolkata Police and West Bengal police can be taken. The scheme will be funded under the Kanyashree project. The girl students who are not covered under the scheme can participate in the workshop.”
Furthermore, he feels self defence training will be helpful in enhancing the confidence of the students.
Benefits of the Kanyashree Scheme
Under this welfare project, the beneficiaries (between 13 and 18 years) are entitled to an annual scholarship of Rs 500. The unmarried girls who enroll in colleges will get Rs 25,000.
To encourage more women to pursue post-graduate studies, the chief minister has announced a monthly scholarship. Students in Sciences will get Rs 2,500 and students studying Arts subjects will get Rs 2000.