The program makes self-defence training accessible to 6th, 7th and 8th standard girls in public schools through a 3- year, bi-weekly training program adapting
martial-arts and fitness techniques; adding verbal, psychological and emotional skills, and integrating a critical gender-free consciousness. It is facilitated by
gender sensitised trainers who are MukkaMaar change-makers. MukkaMaar girls feel safe, are able to defend themselves from violence, have greater self confidence, occupy more space, and negotiate effectively for their own choices and life decisions.
Leveraging existing infrastructure: The program is delivered through partnership with Government schools. These schools have a larger concentration of girls who come from a challenging socio-economic background and are more “at-risk’ of gender based violence.
The model is built after a thorough research on ‘empowerment self defence’, agency in adolescents and various psychological and sociological perspectives on adolescent girls’ well-being. The program ‘trains’ the girls not just to defend and attack, but also to develop verbal, mental and social skills to avoid, interrupt, and resist assault and manage their psychological and emotional selves in a much better way.
Each class covers the below mentioned 4 focus areas –
Adolescent girls experience their bodies in a way that makes them feel shame, shy, weak and inhibited. Exploratory, rhythmic, strength-based movement not only makes them physically stronger, but also allows them to connect with their body in new ways. Eg. In a game of Burmese wrestling, girls’ focus shifts from adjusting their clothes, to unleashing their power.
Addressing the deepest fears of girls rooted in a world of violence, the techniques of physical and verbal self- defence are designed after thorough research on skills that would work in real-life circumstances. Executing and practicing those skills
over a long duration, allows them to have visible evidence of how much they have grown, leading to feeling self-sufficient.
While the trainer is trained on the awareness and sensitisation modules to be addressed in class, the key lies in facilitation and weaving modules into the class in a seamless manner where it doesn’t look like a lecture. The trainer is trained to identify and leverage ‘teachable moments’ in class, to gently nudge the conversation in the desired direction. Eg. Asking girls to unbundle a popular song or phrase.
The design employs all means to keep the girls fully engaged and bring their
full self without inhibition. Games, poems, chants, allow for a do-think-do approach where change within can take place because of the practice as
opposed to a theory-first approach. Eg. Chanting “I am important’ as we punch, gradually makes the belief solidify, even if initially it’s tough to relate to.