DHANGADI, Oct 7: With the incidence of rape and sexual assault unabated in different parts of the country, around 1,700 women have joined a week of self-defense training in Kailai district. The training is said to be the first of its kind in the far-western region.
Kailali borders Kanchanpur, where 13-year-old Nirmala Panta was raped and murdered some two and half months ago. Delays in booking Nirmala's attackers and the steady rise in rapes across the country have caused widespread fear among women and girls.
Chief Minister Trilochan Bhatta inaugurated the training amid a function on Saturday. Speaking on the occasion, he said that the provincial government is extremely serious about preventing such violence against women. He said it would be ready to provide any assistance to local bodies to safeguard females.
Those acquiring the training include 7th through 12th graders, college students, and social activists.
According to Prakash Chand, general secretary of National Goju-Ryu Karate Do Association Nepal, the training was organized in response to the steady rise in rape cases in the country.
“We have seats for 1,000 participants but 1,700 females arrived for the training”, Chand said.
Chand believes this self-defense training will boost women's self-confidence and help minimize rape cases in future. It will also provide tips on how to handle threatening situations.
Chand said they would soon be providing the training in all seven provinces and it would be provided to 10,000 in Kathmandu alone.
“Participation in the training has given me the confidence to fight sexual violence. I believe I can now safeguard myself in tough situations,” said Anu Koirala of Kailali Bahumukhi Campus, adding, “I need to share whatever I have learned with other girls like me”.
Another participant, Pawitra KC, said that even walking outside of her house had felt risky in the aftermath of the Nirmala incident.
Karate Do General Secretary Chand said that the self-defense training provided tips on how to fight against domestic violence, violence in public places, and how to react and protect oneself during rape attempts.
Binod Ghimire, Superintendent of Police, said that women were also taught about legal provisions and the procedure to file complaints in assault cases.
According to a report by Province 7 Police Office, since mid-May alone, 71 rape cases have occurred in while post-Nirmala Pant rape case, 29 rape cases were reported in the province.