Jyoti Mala, a 25-year-old from Lucknow who just completed her BSc Nursing can’t help but smile as she remembers the one time she and her friends taught a lesson to a few boys from her college who were following and commenting on them at every chance they got. “We were taught a few easy but effective moves by Abhishek and let’s just say after we taught those boys a lesson; we never saw them around again.”
Abhishek Yadav holds a Limca World record for training 5,700 girls in self-defence techniques in Kunda, Pratapgarh, and Uttar Pradesh.
This record was previously held by Delhi Police and the Delhi government when they trained over 5,000 girls in self-defence.
The 27-year-old is also the youngest achiever of Yash Bharti Award, the highest award given by the UP government for contribution in social work. His vision is to make women self-empowered by teaching them aikido and other martial art techniques for self-defence and road fights by setting up camps in various cities. These workshops last a week to 15 days.
“It started in 2007, as a camp to teach female police officers in Uttar Pradesh
to take down guys without using weapons with basic and minimal power techniques. After the 2012 Delhi gang-rape case, I felt there was a need to teach young girls how to protect themselves,” Yadav recalls.
Yadav’s foundation Abhiself Protection Trust trains these girls under the "Meri Raksha, Mere Haathon Mein" programme. The foundation coaches girls free of cost and is all set to create the Guinness World Record by training 21,000 women from schools, colleges and police in Mumbai by December.
“In a country, where crimes against women are increasing rapidly, women must learn to fight back and not be victimised. I don’t want any female to be left out to deter potential attacks just because of their financial position,” Yadav added.
When asked about his future plans, he said he wants to set-up an academy in New Delhi and wants to keep on empowering more women both in the national capital and throughout the country. “What started as a means to get back and get even with fellow schoolmates is helping me bring about a change in the country and helping women raise voice against injustice.”