Indian women buy guns, pepper spray in wake of gang rape

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In the wake of a gruesome gang rape that stunned the country, Indian women are now equipping themselves for self-protection. Sales of pepper spray have jumped. Many women are downloading smartphone apps enabling them to seek help if they are stalked. A weapons factory is producing a gun especially for female users. And the self-defense group here scheduled a mega-class to teach hundreds of women how to target assailants’ groins.

On Valentine’s Day.

“We teach women how to use their hands, where to hit the men and how to hit them so that they are in pain for at least three months,” Usha Vishwakarma said forcefully. She is the 27-year-old chief of the self-defense group, called the Red Brigade, in this northern city. “The attacks on our bodies are rising every day. We have to be ready for this war.”

On Friday, the group trained about 700 young women, mostly students from Lucknow’s schools and colleges, on an open lot for four hours even as it drizzled, said Vishwakarma.

“It was truly exhilarating to train so many women in a single session. They responded so enthusiastically to our lessons,” she said.

The Valentine’s Day training date was chosen to coincide with protests planned by the global “One Billion Rising” campaign, which fights violence against women.

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Source: The Washington Post

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