Mumbai: Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, who studied martial arts in Thailand, today urged the government to make this mandatory in Indian schools too as it is crucial for self defence.
"I urge the government to make it compulsory for boys and girls. I look forward to that day where every student compulsorily learns martial arts in schools for at least three years and martial arts becomes more famous than cricket. It is my dream," Akshay said during a workshop on Russian knife fighting system called Tolpar.
In China and Singapore, martial arts training is a must and after the programme, a certificate would be handed over, recalled Akshay, who has appeared in more than 100 films in Bollywood.
In association with Mumbai Police and a team of Russian martial arts experts, NGO Mukti, founded by Smita Thackeray, organised a one-day Tolpar training event at Naigaon police grounds in central Mumbai today.
As many as 35 female police constables and Mukti`s 12 female marshals, who guard Western Railway locals, underwent the day-long fighting technique using a small knife.
"It`s a very big initiative by Mukti foundation. A woman should take care of herself. I think for knife fighting you do not need power but you need to be intelligent to tackle the situation. I am sure this technique will be helpful for those undergoing training," the actor said.
He also spent time with the Tolpar experts and practised moves with them, learning the nuances of the art.
Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad chief Himanshu Roy extolled the initiative saying "Each woman should stand up for herself and not fear offenders. This specialised training empowers her and we would like every woman to train to be empowered to protect herself."
Smita Thackeray said, "Tolpar training aims at empowering the female personnel, that is both the cops and our NGO marshals, whose task is to take care of women."
"The Russian Tolpar experts work on empowering police and army, the globe over. When Mukti marshals got this opportunity, we wanted the women cops to benefit from it and are glad the Mumbai police agreed to the same," she said.