"Everyday in the morning the first two pages of any newspaper are just full of news on rapes and assaults. If a woman learns self defense, then they will be able to protect themselves. I feel every woman should be her own commando," Pooja told IANS in a telephonic interview from Mumbai.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the number of rape cases registered in India have increased by a startling 870 percent from 2,487 in 1971 to 24,206 in 2011.
In "Commando", Vidyut played the title role and Pooja was seen as Simrit Kaur, a small town girl who fights for herself.
The actress said since it was a movie, a commando came to rescue Simrit but "in real life that does not happen."
"A girl will not get a commando to protect her always so she needs to become her own commando."
Looking at the current scenario in the country, Pooja says that even she is terrified of going outside her house after 11 p.m.
"I am not talking like an actress, or a former Miss India, but I do get scared if I have to go out somewhere after 11 p.m. Earlier, I used to just venture out, but today I feel scared, I don't feel that I am in a free country," she said.
Any suggestions for girls?
"Keep chilli sprays, pepper sprays and learn self defence," she said.
In real life, Pooja takes inspiration from her mom Neera Chopra who she calls her real commando
"It was 28 years ago when my mother walked out of my father's house. Why? Because my father did not want me, he wanted his second child to be a son.
"But then my mother took a decision and left him, just to raise me and give me a good upbringing. My mother is my commando in every true sense," said Pooja.
The former Miss India believes a woman is way stronger than a man and added: "If a woman decides to do something, she does it, be it in any situation, like my mother."
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