Forty schoolgirls of backward Teesta basin areas in Jaldhaka and Dimla upazilas under the district are lucky enough to receive a two-month intensive training on self-defence through martial art karate, thanks to the initiative of NGO Plan International.
"The programme organised under 'girls' power project' aims to help the rural girls discover their own potentials," Wrishikesh Sarker, programme unit manager of the NGO, said at the certificate award ceremony for the participants on the premises of Dimla Girls' School yesterday.
Kamrunnahar Sathi, a black belt holder martial art instructor from Dhaka, conducted the training.
“I am no longer afraid of stalkers on my way to school as the karate training has boosted up my confidence about self-defence,” said Sahana Aktar Sumi of Dimla Girls' High School, a recipient of the training.
Another trainee, Mohona Aktar of Jaldhaka Adorsha High School, also expressed the same.
"A large number of cases for repression on women are filed with local courts as women often become victim of torture due to the belief that they are physically weak. Imparting effective training to them on self-defence can eliminate this wrong belief,” women's rights activist advocate Laila Anjuman Ara, who supports oppressed women in legal battle, said at the ceremony.
Shamim Zahid Talukdar, women affairs officer of Jaldhaka upazila, said, “Alongside education, training on self-defence can make girls courageous to overcome the barrier for going ahead alongside their male counterparts.”
Local lawmaker Aftabuddin Sarker distributed certificates to the karate trainees as chief guest at the function presided over by Hanifuddin Sarker, headmaster of Dimla Girls' High School.
The trainees displayed different techniques on self-defence there.