The newest self-defense tool for women in India looks pretty familiar — it’s your standard, run-of-the-mill umbrella. But, this umbrella comes with a few helpful pointers on how to turn a run-of-the-mill umbrella into an all-purpose tool to fend off would-be attackers.
The idea was born out of concern for married women at home while husbands go to work abroad. Remittances are a big part of the economy in India, but that makes going to a money transfer location and picking up that cash dangerous — it’s all too easy for thieves to lie in wait near those physical locations. Vodafone is letting anyone send of the umbrellas using their Vodafone M-Pesa mobile money transfer service, which will make sure that the umbrella is ready for pickup at Vodafone stores when women need to pick up remittances.
The umbrella itself is nothing special (no hidden sword in the handle or any of that), but does have a few printed images telling women how they can use an umbrella to defend themselves — by opening it in the face of an attacker, or the tried-and-true method of a full-force thrust into a man’s sensitive area. The choice of an umbrella was for the sake of having something unassuming to carry — an umbrella won’t attract any extra attention, but it can be helpful if women get any unwanted attention anyway.
You can check out a video demonstrating the self-defense umbrella below.