Girls. Equip yourselves with self-defence techniques they will come handy to defend yourselves.
All progress takes place outside of your comfort zone.
“I believe in this and I am on a mission to build a community that is safe by teaching people self-defence and be capable to protect themselves in society.”
If there is something that you can do to the community in the present scenario, it is to teach them how to be safe. It is very well known that instead of giving a man a fish, it is always better to teach a man to fish. Likewise, instead of appearing there, every time someone needs to be rescued, what if we think of making the members of the community self-reliant and confident enough to safeguard themselves? That sounds cool, right? Especially, when girls and women go out, it is very important that their commuting is safe and they come back home the way they stepped out. But with unimaginable incidents taking place every day, it is very hard for their families to send them out beyond certain spaces and time frames. Consequently, they tend to lose opportunities. What if a girl, for that matter any person is capable of defending him/herself? Who would stop them from going far to embrace their goals? If they are capable enough to protect themselves, their families wouldn’t even clip their wings. And the bird can fly with freedom. That’s exactly what a Hyderabad-based man thought of and he put his thought into action by founding an organization that teaches people techniques of self-defence and self-protection thereby making them equipped and strong enough to tackle any negativity that comes their way. This is all about Santosh Kumar, the man behind every brick of The Shield, an organization that is on a mission to teach self-defence to everyone at free of cost ensuring that all Indians are capable enough to protect themselves. Santosh Kumar, who pursued his schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya graduated in Bsc-(btgc) from Bhavans Vivekananda college. So, how this man has got into the thought of teaching self-defence to the community? Here's the answer.
Santosh had a friend whose sister was put to death by her in-laws and her husband. Unfortunately, she was subjected to sexual harassment by her father in law. Owing to the victimization that her own family had subjected her to, the helpless woman had committed suicide. Though the villagers protested this incident in support of the woman, the family has got the support of the local MLA and was given police protection. To suppress people's protest, a huge police force was also deployed. However, though slight legal action was taken, as the woman's parents were poor, they were bribed and muted to silence. Within a few days, everything became history, everyone went into minding their own work and started to live normal lives. Santosh Kumar, who observed all these, couldn't digest the fact that while everyone else including the culprits are safe and happy, the innocent woman lost her life. There's no one who could answer the humiliation, torture and insult she had gone through. Once this happened, Santosh came across many such incidents where girls are sexually harassed, molested and put to death, happening on a daily basis. Santosh, who wanted to join the Indian Army was deeply moved by all these.
"I was on my way to protect the borders of the country for the safeguard of the nation but these incidents made me think that borders are safe in the hands of our great Indian army but what about the inner country and the society and the situation of such girls? Then I changed my mind to serve the country by living "inside" the country, making the society strong internally especially for girls and women.", he told the Book Of Achievers. Santosh started to dig deep into this problem and started giving response forms to school children and orphans after conducting sessions on the importance of self-defence. When he asked them to share any situation where they were abused or ill-treated, their response shocked him. "To my surprise, the feedback I got was, many of the girls mentioned that their own family members or close relatives abused them, which cannot be socialised, as a matter of honour safety. So there are many such cases which depict that self-defence is the only solution."
Santosh thus strongly felt that it is important to make people strong so they can defend themselves when the need arises. He says that everyone is responsible for their own safety and learning self-defence is the only way to achieve it. Thus, he decided to take up classes and sessions on self-defence for boys, girls and for working women at no charge.
A Strong Personality - Physically And Mentally:
Nallolla Santosh Kumar who was born to Nallolla Lavanya and Yadagiri on 26th November 1996 is a native of Rampally village in Medchal district of Hyderabad, Telangana. While his mother is a housewife, his father who was once a lorry driver is currently involved in a business. Ever since childhood, Santosh was inclined towards sports and Martial arts. He took an active part in various sports and Martial arts events at national and international levels. "I have been practising Martial arts since I was in the third standard. I was the elected school captain in the school going through fair elections and that developed great leadership qualities in me.", recollected Santosh. Being active in NCC activities, Santosh was also designated as Junior Under Officer of 12 / 2 COMPANY 2 TELANGANA BATTALION.
Santosh also attended the All India Thal Sainik camp for 6 months wherein the students are made to live the life of a soldier in the borders subjecting them to all kinds of adversities. "I was ranked silver medal all over India in that. That was the time I could discover my passion to serve the country being an army Man (officer). I prepared for SSB officer entry in the Indian armed forces to serve the nation with almost patriotism", he said. However, after coming face to face with real-life incidents that shook Santosh, he resolved to make the society stronger and by making people strong enough to fight anything that comes in their way, he wanted to become a soldier "inside" India. This Taekwondo, Kickboxing, Krav Maga and martial arts practitioner, took on his shoulders, the responsibility to train young girls and women, the ways to protect themselves. In 2019, he laid foundations for what he dreamt and there emerged the organisation, "The Shield" which trains young girls and women in self-defence.
Shielding The Community:
Santosh Kumar, who loves to upgrade his physical and mental capabilities, very well knows that self-defence is a psychological aspect. He worked to build a careful action plan for so many days and then came out with a PowerPoint presentation that details about the importance of self-defence and the psychological aspect of it. "It is important to learn what wonders they can do when they can defend themselves and even save others too. This ppt will psychologically awaken them. Speaking about his personal life, Santosh adds saying, "I was that guy who was involved in the physical fights (kind of macho boy ) since my childhood as a matter of the influence of the locality where I stayed. I had been through enough bad friendships too in my teens that I could fight my way out by myself. Out of all these self-defensive capabilities, I turned well-versed in being able to deliver the best skills to young people by teaching them how to fight back from every obstacle or uncomfortable situation they face"., explains Santosh. Santosh starts with training people mentally. Mental strength, he believes, is what makes a person physically strong. Santosh says that "The Shield" is not all him. Pavan Kumar, Ashutosh, Shiva Krishna are the ones who selflessly put their flesh and blood into every action that The Shield takes up. Santosh created a network of 1500 volunteers all over Hyderabad. Together, they plan and execute operations that include Self-defense sessions like MISSION SURAKSHA. All these sessions are conducted free of cost and the volunteers make sure that the trainees receive every required skill.
The Stories Of Courage:
When the team Book Of Achievers asked Santosh to share what girls have taken home from The Shield, he narrated a simple incident with pride gleaming on his face.
"Once a girl encountered a situation where a few humiliated her and she was in a dangerous situation. Though she was terrified for a moment initially, she could pool up the courage and hit them in the groin and could return home safely. Later she mentioned that the words that I said throughout the training hit her ears when she was in that hopeless situation and thus she could get out of the situation. Later their parents visited my home and thanked me for everything. It was indeed a happy moment."
The Journey So Far:
So far, Santosh has organised over 80 sessions with each session being attended by over 50-70 girls. A few round up to 100 as well. The team has covered government schools, lady workers at small scale industries, daily wage labourers, corporate offices, ladies in the apartments and gated communities as well as the women in the colonies of villages and towns. He does all these with no funds from outside. Wondering how he would bear the expenses then? Santosh pools up money by providing professional Martial arts training to people. He is a freelance Martial Arts trainer and the money he earns is divided wisely between his living and towards his cause.
The Road Ahead:
Santosh aims to spread the wings of The Shield all over Telangana and across India in the years to come. He says that young people have become captives of the work of corporate companies that are killing their mental and physical abilities. "Students join these companies due to financial problems and family complications that every middle-class youngster faces.", he laments. Santosh is thus trying to create an opportunity for the youngsters to join The Shield. After joining his organisation, Santosh says that they can improve themselves physically, mentally and economically. They can choose to do what they want from freelancing, martial arts training and coaching students in sports. Again, the organisation will prepare them for that. "This teaches them survival techniques and improves their financial growth. Also, entering into sports helps athletes fetch more medals in the international events which will be a proud moment for the country too", he said.
The Words Of Strength:
Santosh calls people to "respond" to anything wrong that happens around them. "I believe Response is the first aspect of self-defence. Self-defence starts with RESPONSE. No one can control the evil actions coming upon you by someone unknown. It's not the time to blame anyone. Instead, be self-capable to fight back every situation you encounter in your life physically as well as mentally."
What an amazing thought this young man has made! Not only just the thought, but he also started executing it from the ground level. We wish his organisation spreads wings like a high-flying bird touching everyone's lives making them self-reliant and strong.
If you Like to contribute to this Page, Please Drop us a Mail.