#InternationalGirlChildDay – Soni Learns New Life Skills & Represents Mumbai At State-Level Martial Arts

This is one part of a three-part narrative in collaboration with Leher and MukkaMaar is a non-profit organisation that empowers young girls and envisages ending gender-based violence through its comprehensive 3-year self-defence training program. 

1.Tell us about your life before MukkaMaar.

Ans: MukkaMaar me aane se pehle mai yeh sochti thi ki jo bhi mummy papa bolte hai, woh sabh sahi bolte hai, ki ladkiyon ko shaam ke baad ghar se nahi nikalna chahiye. Ladkiyon ko ghar ka kaam seekhna chahiye, taaki jab uski shaadi ho, usko ghar ke sab kaam aane chahiye.

MukkaMaar se pehle, mera jeevan aisa tha ki main school aur tuitions jaati thi, aur ghar ka kaam karti thi. Ghar ka kaam jaise khaana banana, kapde dhona aur jhadu-pochha karna. Mujhe kahin bhi, doston ke saath, ghoomne nahi diya jaata tha.

2. How did you find about about MukkaMaar? What encouraged you to join? 

Ans: MukkaMaar ke baare mein meri mummy ko unke madam ne bataya, jo Ishita di ki dost hain. Unhone mummy se, poocha,“Aapki beti kya karti hai? Toh mummy ne kahaa,“Kuch nahi.”  Phir unhone mummy ko kaha, “Aap apni beti ko martial arts sikhao, usse aapki beti ko koi pareshaani nahi hogi, aur voh kahi bhi akele ja payegi.” Issi liye maine martial arts seekhna shuroo kiya. Par kuch samay baad maine chod diya, kyunki mummy bolne lagi, “Kya karegi seekh kar yeh Martial Arts?”

MukkaMaar har BMC school mein sikhane aata hai, toh jab mere school main bhi aaye, maine phir se shuru kar diya! Yeh martial arts abhi tak chal raha hai, aur aage bhi chalta rahega.

3. How did your parents, peer and community react to you learning self-defence? What was their initial reaction? Has their outlook changed? If so, how?

Ans: Jaise-jaise duniyab adal rahi hai, vaise-vaise soch bhi badal rahi hai. Log ladkiyon ko itna kuch bolte hain aur apne aap ko sab Bhagwan samjhte hai. Par unhe ye nahi patta hai ki agar ladki nahi hoti toh hum log bhi nahi hote. Toh log ab ye soch rahe hai ki haan jo hum kar sakte hai woh har ek ladki kar sakti hai. Jaise garden me ladke log jaate hai khelne toh ladkiyan kyu nahi? Agar ladke raat me kabhi bhi ghar par aa sakte hai toh ladkiyan kyu nahi?

4. How did MukkaMaar & self-defence change your life?

Ans: Pehle jo log bolte the, main vaisa hi karti thi. Mujhe yeh sunne ko milta tha ‘Ghar se ladkiyaan bahar nahi jaayegi. Bahar ka kaam nahi karegi. Zyada padhai nahi karegi’. Ab toh main yeh bilkul follow nahi karti hoon, kyunki maine self-defence seekha hua hai.Ab mujhe mere mummy, papa kuch nahi bolte. Har ladki ko khud ke liye martial arts seekhna chaiyee.

Jab maine martial arts karna shuru kiya, toh competitions me khelna shuru kiya, aur medals laane bhi shuroo ho gaye the.Isse meri family bahut khush ho gayi,aur unhone yeh mehsoos kiya ki – Haan meri beti ne kuch kiya hai khudh ke liye. Ab, mummy papa yeh bolte hain ki meri beti sahi disha mein jaa rahi hai. Ab woh mujhe kahi bhi jaane dete hai aur yeh nahi sochte hai ki raat hai ya din. Aur ye nahi dekhte hai ki main ladka hoon ya ladki- bas jaane dete hai kahi bhi…

5. Do you think all girls should learn self-defence? Why?

Ans: Haan! Haan! Ladkiyon ko martial arts karna chahiye kyunki aaj-kal toh bahut zyada rape aur crime hote hai. Martial Arts se sab ladkiyan apna self-defence khud kar sakti hain. Par yeh bhi sach hai ki har ladki ke mummy yaa papa bahar nahi jaane dete hai. Kyunki unko dar lagta hai ki unki ladki ke saath kuch ladke (rape) naa kar de. Ladkiyaan jab self-defence seekh legi toh woh ghar main baithi nahi rahegi. Issiliye har ladki ko martial arts karna chahiye.

6. Narrate one incident where you had to use your self-defense skills

Ans: Ek din hum log school se garden main khelne gaye kyuki uss din school ka half day tha. Wahan garden me do teen ladke hum ladkiyon ko dekh kar seetee bajaa rahe thye.Maine doston ka kahaa, “Chalo ghar jaate hai.” Fir,maine socha ki aaj un ladko ko ignore kar doongi toh kalse ladkiyan kuch kar nahi paayengi. Toh mai gayi un ladko ke paas aur maine kahaa, “Seeti kyun bajaa rahe ho? Unn ladko ne kaha, “Meri marzi mera mu”. Maine kahaa, “Mere hath mere pe se bajaa dungi seedha.”  Toh sab ladkiyon ko prerna mile ki ab humme chup nahi rehna hai.

7. Describe MukkaMaar in one word. 

Ans: “Competition”, “Defense” “Coach” “For girls”.

8. Tell us your state level story?

Ans: Main Kandivili main 2 medals lane ke baad, state level khelne ke liye Aurangabad main select hui thi. Hamme tabhi pata chala ki state level fight ke liye humme bahut zayda practice karni padegi. Mujhe yaad hai ki hum sab 6 August 2018, ko raat 9 baje ke train pakad kar Aurangabad ke liye nikle the. Humne train main bahut masti ki thi. Hum logon ko seat ki problem hui thi aur humme do logon ko ek seat par baithe aur use par sona pada. Hum subah 4.30- 5.30 baje tak Aurangabad main pahunch gaye. Hum wahan se ek gadi me baith kar hotel main karib 7 baje pahunche. Wahan par hum 2 ghante bahar bethe rahe kyunki room ki safai ho rahi thi. Phir hum wahan se kuch samay baad room main gaye aur fatafat weight check ke liye ready hue. Jab breakfast ka time aaya, toh main khana nahi kha rahi thi kyunki mujhe lag raha tha ki mera weight badh jaayega. Mujhe tab sir ne samjhaya ki humme weight se fight nahi karni hai, humme bas fight karna hai, chahe koi bhi kg main khelo. Maine uske baad hi breakfast kiya.Phir hum practice karne lagain weight ghatane ki.

Jab hum weight check karne ke liye gaye, toh sab apni apni category main chale gayain. Pur meri category full ho gayi aur mujhe bahut bura laga ki jo fight 2 main 2 medal laya hau usko 45 kg main nahi khila rahain hai aur jo fight main 3-4 medals layain usko 45 kg main khila rahin hai.

Mujhe bohot bura laga ki jo fight 2 medal laya hai usko 45kg me nahi khila rahe hai aur jo fight 3-4 medals laya hai woh sab 45 kg me khel rahe hai.Toh sir ne kaha “Ki tu khele gi ya nahi?”Maine kahaa, “Sir main kheloo gi, koi bhi kg main kyunki main Mumbai se Aurangabad khelne ke liye hi aayi hoon.” Satara ke coach the, unka 45 kg main ek slot khali tha aur main Mumbai se Satara ke liye weight check karne gayi thi.Maine dekha ki mera weight toh 44 kg hai toh mujhe 4 kg badhana pada.Maine tab ek litre paani piya, 3 sweater pehni aur 2-3 phone apne jeb me daali.Toh mera weight 46 kg hua.Fir main 48 kg me pehla round kehli.Tab main, pehla round jeeti, dusra round main mere saath cheating hogayi thi, par koi baat nahi. Yeh mera pehli baar tha, kyunki koi-koi toh 4/5 baar jaa ke bhi haar ke aa jaate hai. Aurangabad main MukkaMaar ke 3 girls ko zyada problem hui kyunki hum log suburban se khele the aur city vaalo ko problem nahi hui. Jo jo suburban se the, usko na toh khana na toh paani mila.

9. If you had to encourage girls in your community, city and country to learn self-defense, what is the one thing you would say to them to convince them?

Ans: Main ladkiyon ko boloongi ki mujhe dekh lo – Mai kaisi thi aur ab kaisi hoon!

Photo Credits : MukkaMaar

Words By : Soni

MukkaMaar is a non-profit organisation that empowers young girls and envisages ending gender-based violence through its comprehensive 3-year self-defence training program. To know more about their work, you can follow them on Twitter, FacebookInstagram

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