Mangaluru: Seema Rao is India's only female commando trainer.
An expert in close quarter battle, Seema has been giving commando training to various armed forces in India for nearly two decades. Seema, who spoke to TOI about her programme DARE (Defence Against Rape and Eve Teasing) says it is gaining popularity in the Mumbai corporate world, where women want to arm themselves and keep eve teasers and sexual predators at bay.
You are India's first woman combat specialist in the field of close quarter combat training. What were the initial challenges you had to face?
It's a physical field, so one needs to have physical capabilities and skills. When you are able to do something on your own, it leads everyone by example. Male ego was subtle but besides that I did not have any problems.
What sacrifices did you have to make to choose this this career and have you regretted those choices you made?
Well, I have not regretted anything. However, I have made many sacrifices. Firstly, because of extreme physical work and demands, it was not possible to have my own biological child. In order to complete the family, I adopted a girl child. Secondly, I could not attend my father's funeral since I was away training army personnels. I could have gone back but did not want training to end mid way. My father surely would understand my problems.
Have you ever been a victim or targeted by men and how have you dealt with it?
Yes. During initial days of learning martial arts, I was targeted by three sexual predators at a beach but I taught them a lesson for a lifetime that day.
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