Bangalore: Pepper sprays, stun guns, telescopic batons and knives are a few things that Bangaloreans have been getting their hands on in the last one week. The recent Guwahati molestation incident seems to have spurred the trend. Many people now pick up a can of pepper spray from their nearest chemist, and several others have started enrolling in self-defence classes.
The Guwahati incident has instilled fear among single working women, and parents are worried about their wards’ safety. Some BPO companies have urged women employees working night shifts to equip themselves with self-defence tools and get some simple training to escape danger.
Experts suggest this might not be the only solution and that people need to stay on guard round-the-clock. “Pepper spray can be a handy tool, but being aware of your surroundings is more important. In the last one week, we’ve had a large number of single working women and worried parents enrolling their teenage daughters in our Krav Maga self-defence classes,” says Franklin Joseph, self-defence instructor, Badass Combat Academy.
The Guwahati incident has instilled fear among single working women, and parents are worried about their safety.
Further, many are buying telescopic batons and stun guns — though they cost a little more than pepper sprays — which are handy, he added. “A pepper spray can is the easiest tool to have but its usage depends on the direction of the wind, and one needs to hold it properly. People are going for other options like electric stun guns that look like a simple lipstick and cost Rs 2,500. Also, telescopic batons that cost anywhere between Rs 2,000 and Rs 5,000 are in demand,” says Y K Chethan, proprietor of Olive Planet, a store for military gear.
“All girls in our class have started keeping a pack of red chilly powder and some safety pins that can keep people at bay for some time. We have started a small campaign at our college to encourage more women to stay safe,” said Krithika Harish, a student of Mount Carmel College.
DCP (South) Sonia Narang said, “People are becoming more proactive and taking precautions now. We have issued pamphlets with simple tips to create awareness. While Bangalore is quite safe for women, the first step is to become more alert. Women need to arm themselves,” she said.