Personal safety has become a major fear for women, in today’s world. Not only violence against women is on the rise , but sexual assaults and harassment against women and young girls too. Although men can be victims of similar behaviour, it is statistically far more likely to happen to a woman. Women’s needs and safety are frequently ignored and women are frequently blamed for their own victimisation.
While girls are raised to be submissive, gentle, and silent in the society, here is an interesting story of a group of women who are fearless to step into the world to hold their position.
Kalaripayattu is a kind of self-defense training based on tried and established techniques from the ancient martial arts of Kerala.
What Kalari has to offer for a woman, is the feeling of security and surveillance against the threats posed by the society against her. Let it be a weapon, an animal or a human being, I have the courage and power to defeat anything that poses danger to my wellbeing, Shilpa spoke loud and proud, while standing in front of PazhassiRaja Kalari Academy.
The Pazhassi Raja Academy of Kalaripayattu has been providing Kalari training for hundreds of women to mould them into fierce warriors, who they are today. They have been practising Kalarippayattu for the past 11 years in this institution.
Sreejayan Gurukkal, who provides free Kalari training for these women, keeps aside a portion of his earnings for running the institution.
‘We have been training young girls for the past 11 to 12 years without receiving any rewards. People serve the society in various ways; as is suitable to them and this is what I can do or provide for the society,’ Sreejayan says.
Sreejayan picks up his students from their homes early at five in the morning in his Jeep, that he has bought for the same purpose. After training he drops them back home without fail every day.
His students have secured plenty of medals and scholarships at national and international levels by now.
Sreejayan trains them every tactic and techniques of Kalarippayattu which are covered in four sections of ‘Kalarimuras’, namely, Neithari, Kolthari, Angathari and Verumkai. His classes include training by all weapons such as Vadi, Sword and Urumi, and the use of each is already mastered by the young women.
Sreejayan says that Kalari helps everyone with different methods essential for self-defence and also develops the core strength to fight any threat that hinders them in their daily life.
Sreejayan is setting a new model for the world with his selfless act of equipping the next generation with a band of fearless, brave women while upholding a legendary tradition and culture.