Self-defense is the motivation that finds housewives toning up muscles in the karate ring in a district town like Behrampore in Murshidabad. This apparently makes sense, especially in the wake of Nirvaya case in Delhi and similar incidents of Kamduni, Park Street etc. in West Bengal, besides many others in the country. But girls and women taking up martial art have other reasons as well.
A handful of housewives, school and college students and kids of their families got a chance to perfect their karate skills when they took part in a day-long competition here on Sunday. One of the contestants, Mithu Chakraborty is a housewife, who holds a blackbelt, the top grade in karate.
She said, “My husband, son and daughter all are black-belt holders. I started practicing karate long back in 1993 when my motive was to stand out as a martial art professional.”
Chakraborty stressed that women need to develop skills and strength for selfdefense against violence, be it domestic, social or political. Another housewife, Gargi Das is a karate practitioner. “I participated in the national championship several times earlier. I competed along with my 7-year-old son in the ring today.”
Sweta Maruthi, also a housewife, said she was a quite a novice in the field. “Women have reason to feel insecure these days when crimes against women are on the rise. Karate skills give you confidence of rising to the occasion instead of surrendering meekly,” she added.
Soumi Saha, a homemaker trained at Swadhin Martial Art Club at Behrampore, wants to pursue karate as her future profession. “We decided to encourage girls and women in karate to address the issue of women safety”, said Dr Nirmal Saha, president of Vivekananda Byam Samity, the organising club.
Self-defense is the motivation that finds housewives toning up muscles in the karate ring.