Riddhi Mittal took a big professional risk when she moved back to Delhi in September to start her own software company. She did not want her personal safety to be part of the risk, especially considering the gruesome tale of the deadly Delhi gang rape that made headlines around the world one year ago this week.
Mittal, who earned her undergraduate degree and master’s degree in computer science at Stanford University in California, and was an intern at Facebook and Microsoft, was apprehensive about returning to the city, now that it was dubbed “India’s rape capital,” so she signed up for self-defence classes.
“I was here in Delhi in December 2012 for my winter vacation when (the rape) happened. So I was tracking it 24×7 when I was here, and even when I went back to the U.S. in January when my vacations had ended,” said Riddhi, 23, who lives with her parents in South Delhi’s New Friends Colony.
The idea of altering her daily life in a way that forced her to mostly stay indoors to avoid “getting into danger” didn’t appeal to her. She signed up for a course at “Krav Maga India” and started taking classes at the centre’s location in the posh Saket suburb.
“It has helped me a lot because it has trained me how to best defend myself in a situation of crisis. I can kick, punch, scratch—do whatever I can to save myself with confidence. I can actually dare someone to try and hurt me now,” she said.