Single-handedly fighting the forces of Hyder Ali armed with nothing but a pestle, Onake Obavva is celebrated as a warrior and a brave patriot, across Karnataka.
Taking inspiration from her, the Bengaluru Mirror reports that Chitradurga has formed a squad of women police constables (WPCs) named Obavva pade, to protect and educate women.
Speaking to the publication, Shrinath Joshi, the Superintendent of Police (SP) in Chitradurga said that post-training, these women have been deployed to raise awareness and enforce law and order.
The team consists of around 45 WPCs under 40, led by 4 Assistant Sub Inspectors of Police (ASI), who have been trained for 21 days in self-defence.
Two Obavva squads are posted in Chitradurga, and one each in Holalkere, Challakere and Hiriyur. Working with schools, gram panchayats and ASHA Workers as well as Stree Shakti groups, the Obavva squads are teaching women basic self defence, educating them about the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act, offences under the Indian Penal Code, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, cybercrimes, and mobile offences.
The initiative was also implemented in Bengaluru in April by the Bengaluru West Deputy Commissioner of Police (West), Ravi D Channannavar, as a pilot project.
The squad has most notably had success at the Bengaluru Metropolitan Bus Station, or Kempegowda Bus Stand, where they have created safe public spaces for women. Till recently, touts, louts and pickpockets, among other unsavoury elements, would lurk in the shadows, but no more. Also, the foot-over bridge, populated by sex workers is now free of them, allowing other women to walk on the bridge without being solicited.
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Handpicked from different police stations, ten women constables make up the Obavva squad in Bengaluru, according to Kathyayini Alva, the Upparpet Police Inspector. She also added that the women wear special uniforms, to create fear among people who create a nuisance.
Well, we hope that the squad named after the brave warrior will hopefully bring down the rate of crimes against women in the state.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)
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