Meet the 40-year-old who has empowered over 1.5 lakh women through self-defence

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The welfare and security of ladies is an integral pillar of democracy. Nonetheless, gender-based abuse and discrimination in opposition to girls are repressing them from collaborating within the office, economic system, and the society as a complete. 

In response to the World Well being Group (WHO), about one in three (35 %) girls internationally expertise bodily and/or sexual violence of their lifetime. In terms of India, the situation is much more bleak. 

Crimes against women

As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a complete of 4,05,861 crimes in opposition to girls have been registered within the nation throughout 2019, and this marked an enhance of seven.3 % when in comparison with 2018 (3,78,236 instances). Majority of the atrocities included homicide, rape, dowry demise, suicide abetment, acid assault, and kidnapping. A ballot of 548 international specialists released by Thompson Reuters in 2018 ranked India because the world’s most harmful nation for ladies, forward of Afghanistan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. 

With a view to vary this, 40-year-old Aparna Rajawat laid the muse for a non-governmental organisation known as Pink Belt Mission in 2016. Although the NGO is predicated in Agra, it empowers girls from throughout the nation with all of the instruments required to remain conscious, battle violence, and reply to challenges. 


Aparna coaching girls on self-defence.

Pink Belt Mission has designed and applied three totally different programmes centered round self-defence, training, and vocational coaching. To date, it has impacted the lives of over 1.5 lakh younger women and girls.

“Being a girl in India, I’ve myself skilled a number of injustices and inequalities. However finally I understood the importance of buying the talents and confidence to guide an impartial life. And I didn’t need different girls to endure from the identical form of maltreatment and oppression that I went by. So, I made a decision to ascertain Pink Belt Mission,” says Aparna.  

Eliciting the set off

Born and introduced up in Agra, Aparna had two elder brothers who used to bully her. Whereas they might spend their time flying kites and taking part in gilli danda, she was restrained to being at house more often than not. 

“After I was getting into my teenage, I joined karate lessons. I knew that the one strategy to empower and safeguard myself was to be taught self-defence. I continued my journey in studying the martial artwork kind and mastered a number of strikes – from knee strikes, axe kicks, facet thrusts to foot sweeps. I additionally started taking to bounce as a passion,” Aparna recollects. 

Aparna Rajawat

Aparna Rajawat, Founder, Pink Belt Mission.

Simply when Aparna was about to show 18, she met with an accident that resulted in a number of fractures, resulting from which she needed to discontinue these actions for some time. Later, she went on to direct all her vitality in the direction of teachers. She pursued her Masters in English Literature from Dr B.R. Ambedkar College after which accomplished her MBA at Manav Bharti College, Solan. Although she kicked off her profession within the subject of gross sales, she subsequently grew to become a tour supervisor for worldwide journeys.   

Aparna was touring overseas when she heard in regards to the gangrape and homicide of a 23-year-old woman inside a transferring bus in Delhi. The horrific incident, which occurred in December 2012, reminded her in regards to the stark actuality of exploitation in opposition to girls in India. 

That was when Aparna’s resolve to empower girls grew stronger. After spending a couple of years doing analysis and laying the groundwork, she arrange Pink Belt Mission. 

Pink Belt Mission

Pink Belt Mission has designed and applied three totally different programmes for the empowerment of women and girls.

Empowering girls, one step at a time

To begin with, Aparna pooled in her private financial savings to satisfy the NGO’s day-to-day working bills.

“Since training is among the greatest instruments to allow girls to realize their social, financial, and profession targets, the primary initiative was centered on the identical. On the outset, we recognized younger underprivileged ladies in and round Agra who had both dropped out of college or have been struggling to acquire training. After which, we started sponsoring their faculty charges,” says Aparna. 

Until date, Pink Belt Mission has sponsored the training of greater than 28 ladies.


Aparna making her approach into the Guinness Ebook of World Data for organising the biggest self-defence coaching class with 7,401 ladies.

One other programme that the NGO is understood for is to do with vocational coaching. For this, Aparna collaborated with Mansi Chandra, a businesswoman who runs a shoe manufacturing unit known as Tara Improvements in Agra. Mansi taught unskilled and unemployed girls the nitty-gritties of shoe making, dealing with equipment, and managing meeting strains. On the finish of it, she additionally employed 150 of them in her manufacturing unit. 

Whereas these two initiatives have been working persistently, Pink Belt Mission’s signature programme is that of coaching women and girls in self-defence. The organisation has been taking assist from the UP police drive (together with the Girls Energy Line), Rajasthan State Fee for Girls, and UNICEF to join with colleges in addition to faculties and implement the programme. 

“We conduct a free three-day workshop for women and girls the place we enlighten them about numerous instruments and strategies concerned in self-defence. I personally take classes to strengthen them to flee from potential abuse and in addition educate them to battle again. Broadly, your complete initiative revolves round empowering girls emotionally, mentally, legally, bodily, and digitally,” notes Aparna. 


Aparna educating ladies to battle abuse and discrimination.

Since its inception, the NGO has skilled roughly 1.5 lakh women and girls, who in flip have geared up many extra throughout Gorakhpur, Agra, Noida, Jaipur, Varanasi, Pune, Lucknow amongst different cities.

33-year-old Asha Singh is one among them. Asha, an IT skilled who works in Agra, attended the self-defence workshop organised by Pink Belt Mission in 2018 and located it to be extraordinarily empowering.

“I learnt so much through the course of the workshop. I felt assured after I understood how I may take security into my very own fingers, moderately than relying on others. Moreover, practising self-defence strikes has improved my bodily situation in addition to reflexes,” Asha says.

Pink Belt Mission is presently seeking to garner funds from each people and corporates in an effort to increase its attain. 

“One of many largest challenges that I’ve been coping with is lack of help from authorities authorities. I’ve written to the Uttar Pradesh authorities a number of occasions expressing my curiosity to work with them on the Mission Shakti marketing campaign. Sadly, I’ve not acquired any response from them thus far. I really feel that the NGO can profit much more girls with a little bit little bit of help from the federal government,” says Aparna.


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