In an initiative by Smita Thackeray of Mukti Foundation, Russian martial art experts trained the Mukti Marshals and 35 woman police constables in Tolpar, a knife-fighting technique at the Naigaon Police HQ.
Besides Smita Thackeray, actor Akshay Kumar, Himanshu Roy – ATS Chief were present to encourage the marshals and the cops.
Said Smita Thackeray, “Tolpar training aims at empowering the female personnel that is both the cops and the marshals, whose task was to take care of women personnel. Tolpar is a small knife that helps marshals and cops if disarmed and fits into their handbags." "The Russian tolpar experts work on empowering police and army, the globe over. When out 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 averred.
Akshay Kumar spent time with the tolpar experts and practised moves with them, learning the nuances of the art. “I am a keen martial arts exponent and this move by Smita Thackeray of Mukti to empower women has my support. 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,” said the actor who was the first to arrive an hour before time to interact with the experts.
Himanshu Roy spoke strongly for women standing up to defend themselves. “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,” he stated, adding more such training is always welcome.
Looking at the way the Marshals and the cops broke language barriers and learnt the techniques with enthusiasm, it looks like the tolpar knife-wielding women will be here to stay and protect!