Srinagar, Oct 23 : Girls in Jammu and Kashmir have taken to traditional sports called 'sqay', meaning knowledge of war, for their self-defence.
This marshal art technique was introduced in the state during the ancient times by King Dharya Deva.
The girls from various schools and colleges in the state are keenly learning this sport.
Their coach too is happy at the fact that more and more girls are participating. "I am happy with the fact that in the far-flung areas marshal arts is developing fast. With this sport, the children can also defend themselves. It's appreciable that the girls are moving towards this game. They can also protect themselves when their parents are not with them," said Nazir Ahmed, a coach.
Despite deteriorating law and order aggravating the problem, the enthusiasm among the girls is worth noticing.
They not only wish to earn a name for themselves by participating in the sporting event, but also learn it for self defence.
"I want to say to everyone that they should send their children in the field whether they are girls or boys. The girls too wish to grow and learn," said Abida Jaan, an initiate into the sports. Sqay is now practiced in 20 States.
The swift movements and defensive steps of sqay are similar to those of kalaripayattu of Kerala. Sqay employs weapons such as swords and shields.
Called Tora, the sqay sword is made of bamboo with leather cover and Burgula, the shield is made of leather.
The sport employs elements of other marshall arts games karate and taekwondo. There are a variety of combat methods including blows, kicks, punches, locks and chops in this sport.