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Palanpur: A large number of girls in Muslim dominated Kanodar village in Banaskantha are taking to martial arts for self defense. The village has a population of 15,000 out of which 80 per cent are Shia Momins.

Around 1,000 girls from the village stole the show at a demonstration of judo and karate held in the village on Saturday.

"We have got demonstrated some attacking exercises that can come handy for self defense. The nine day long self defense programme was organized by Gujarat Sports Academy (GSA) saw 1082 school girls attending it," Khushbu Prajapati, a trainer at the programme that was named Padkar (Challenge), said. She said adding, "Looking at the enthusiastic response we feel that such programmes should berun in other villages too." A class Xll student participant Ismat Chaudhary said, "There was some hesitation in the beginning but it became very interesting in later stages. It was exciting to defeat an opponent."

Her compatriot Silu Chaudhary said, "I think every girl should learn the art of self defense."

Convener Rashmi Hada of Mahila Kala Nidhi Trust, an NGO working on the theme of "Save the girl child" said her organization will select 151 girls for intensive training for about three months. "This will not only help in self defense but also benefit the girls in seeking employment," she said.

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