Boxer Fights to Protect India's Women— With an App

Mary Kom wants women to feel safe on streets
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2014 12:33 AM CST
Indian Boxing Champ Launches Women's Self-Defense App
Indian boxer and five-time world champion Mary Kom practices boxing in Langol Games village on the outskirts of Imphal, India.   (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

In a country where sexual violence is widespread and vastly under-reported, Olympic boxer Mary Kom is working to make women feel safe on the streets again. She has launched a smartphone app and text service to give Indian women tips on how to fight off attackers, Wired reports. The five-time world champion has also launched a self-defense camp for women and hopes all women in India will soon be able to access her advice. "Most of the women are really happy and excited to learn something," she says.

But while Kom hopes the spread of self-defense skills will make a difference, India's state-owned gun maker is offering a deadlier solution, Forbes finds. The Indian Ordnance Factory has unveiled the "Nirbheek" lightweight revolver designed especially for women. "It is easy to handle and fits nicely in a lady's purse," says an official at the factory, which has already had plenty of orders for the $2,000 firearm. (Read more India stories.)

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