In a world filled with bullying and unexpected violence and assaults, there is an increasing need for our girls to grow up knowing that they are smart, strong, and empowered. Recognising this, parents today are encouraging their children, particularly girls to train in martial arts to help them learn moves that can protect them from harm.
“There are many types of self-defence and martial arts to choose from, but I resonated with Silambam, said 21-year-old Durga Devi who learnt the traditional martial art form her father from a tender age of five.
Practicing Silambam daily has improved my flexibility, strength and stamina. Beyond that, with regular practice, I found that my overall well-being of both mind and body has improved tremendously. In addition, armed with this this self-defence art, I have over the years become more confident and my sense of self-esteem has grown. These personal transformations which I have experienced, is the reason why I am convinced that Silambam can help empower girls and safe them from unexpected adversaries”, added Durga.
As a full-time student, Durga still fills her time as a part time teacher at the Persatuan Kesenian Adithada Silambam where she aims to teach Silambam to poor students, especially girls who are interested to learn but do not have enough money to pay for classes.
Durga encourages women to pick up any form of martial arts and says that if you can defend yourself, that is good enough. It does not have to be Silambam.Undergoing training in martial arts will improve your physical and mental strength. It is something that will keep your muscles healthy and strong by improving your overall body coordination.
Durga is also a recipient of the Kotex #SHECAN FUND campaign which aims to empower women, from arts to education, to entrepreneurship and beyond to help them become the best they can. The Kotex #SHECAN movement has been driving societal change globally to help young women challenge misconceptions around period myths and worries by defying gender stereotypes.
“Thanks to Kotex, my dream of wanting to help students especially girls who are underprivileged by giving them a life changing art is coming to reality. With the fund I have received from Kotex, I can now buy uniforms and sport equipments for students who are eager to learn Silambam. I am thrilled to finally see my aspirations to inspire more young women and girls on the importance of self-defense is coming true”, concluded Durga.