Actress Gul Panag is outraged that lack of retributive action has created a social scenario where women no longer feel safe. Hence, she wholeheartedly supports the ongoing DNA Women’s Self Defence Camp. “This is a great initiative for women to prepare themselves for any eventuality. And it will also make men ashamed that women can no longer count on them for security or protection,” she says.
Gul, who comes from an army background, recalls that she wastrained in the basics of self defence by her father.But it also led to a false sense of security. “In the cantonment area, I would got out for my runs after sunset as the jawans fear the threat of immediate action. But, in the outside world, the realities are reversed,” she says. Gul adds that people break the law with impunity in our country as they know they can get away with it. So, in such a scenario a woman needs to always be prepared and such self defence camps act like a confidence-booster, she feels.
The actress remembers the time when she lived in Delhi and her husband, whom she was dating at that time, would always ensure that she got home safely. “I was reckless when I was younger. I used to drive from Vasant Kunj to Noida where my boyfriend lived and he would always follow me back home to ensure I had reached home safely. I always argued with him that he need not take such pains,” she says. The actress reiterates that we should not think it’s just Delhi that is unsafe but there are pockets in the country where rape cases still go unreported.
Knowing kick-boxing and the basics of self-defence, Gul doles out some handy tips and confesses that with maturity, she has become a lot more conscious about her safety.
“Before stepping out there should be risk-assessment. And detour to shady areas after dark should be avoided at all costs. But when your worst nightmare stares at you, inflict maximum harm on your attacker with minimum effort,” Gul says. Elaborating further, she adds, “Aim for the vulnerable areas. I would rather gouge out the guy’s eyes rather than aim a kick between his legs as most men are prepared for that!”