Tough Girls' Club: Members Train to Use Indian Lathis

Free Press Staff Reporter [Singapore Free Press, 16 February 1953]

Singapore women will band together to fight the menace of the prowler -- and any other of his ilk.

They are to learn the art of self-defence - the skilful wielding of an Indian lathi or pole -- in clubs to be formed by the Singapore Women's Council.

The first club will be opened at the Joo Chiat Social Welfare Centre on Thursday. A beginning will be made with 50 girls over 16.

Mrs. Shirin Fozdar, the secretary of the council, told the Free Press this morning that in addition under-privileged girls would also be taught handicrafts, sewing and domestic science at the classes.


She said: "These cowardly prowlers who attack lonely women should be taught a lesson. And WHO CAN DO IT BETTER THAN WOMEN THEMSELVES.

"They must learn to protect their honour and their homes when their menfolks are away at work."

A trained instructor from India will teach the women.

Some Tiong Bahru women have already indicated that they will join the vigilance corps formed as a result of prowler attacks on women in that area.

Two women were slain, and [a] third had to flee for her life recently.

Mrs. Fozdar said a lathi could send a he-man sprawling on the ground before he knew where he was. Thousands of women in India could use it.

A Singapore businessman has offered to help the club in Joo Chiat Place.

The Women's Council would appreciate aid from others.

We have been unable to locate the copyright holder for this article.

If anyone reading the article has any information regarding this matter, please contact Philip Holden

Main Web Page Singapore Gender Matters

Last modified: 25 April 2001