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NGO MukkaMaar launches self-defence platform for women, their study shows stark gender gap in India

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New Delhi: Non-profit organization MukkaMaar, which provides self-defence training to adolescent girls, on Monday (October 11) rolled out new research they conducted titled ‘Power of Body, Voice and Mind for every girl’.

The organization also launched a new chat-based platform ‘POWER with Mukki’ in a bid to scale up its programme.

The twin launches marked the International Day of the Girl Child that was celebrated yesterday.

The group highlighted the strikingly deteriorating position of India in terms of gender gap, making it the third-worst performing country in South Asia.

“In just 1 year, India has slipped 28 places to rank 140th among 156 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, becoming the third-worst performer in South Asia,” said MukkaMaar in a statement.

“In India, girls and boys experience adolescence differently. While boys tend to experience greater freedom, girls tend to face extensive limitations on their ability to move freely and to make decisions affecting their work, education, marriage and social relationships,” it noted.

Actor Richa Chadha, who was present on the occasion, said, “Self-defense among girls will continue to be a priority till we are able to change our boys. May the situation never arise, when one needs to defend themselves. But it’s not just about fighting predators off, learning self-defense gives the girls more confidence in their own bodies, and makes them capable of expressing themselves better.”

According to the organisation’s research, “Fear over the safety of their girls used to cripple the parents before, which resulted in curbing the girl’s freedom in the illusion that it would keep them safe. Given that in 98% of the cases, the perpetrator is known, MukkaMaar brought awareness to the cycle of crime leading to confinement, leading to vulnerability, leading to crime becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

BMC Education Department officer hailed ‘POWER with Mukki’ platform at the event.

“POWER with Mukki is a blessing for those girls who are unable to continue education because of lack of devices and data, and will open the doors for many such girls all over India,” said Raju Tadvi, Education Officer, BMC Education Department.

The founder of MukkaMaar, Ishita Sharma, called for a collectively focus “to address the deeply entrenched mindsets that cause girls and women to be treated unfairly”.

“To create an equitable world, we must invest now in girls and enable them to have agency. We must collectively focus our attention to address the deeply entrenched mindsets that cause girls and women to be treated unfairly. In MukkaMaar, it has been our endeavour to empower the most vulnerable girls and POWER with Mukki is an attempt to leave no girl behind,” Sharma said.

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