Dr Seema Rao The Indian superwoman

Dr Seema Rao – The Indian superwoman who has mastered Jeet-Kune-Do


She is a woman with rare combinations. She can be tough and yet be feminine. Dr Seema Rao has achieved plethora of accomplishments in her life – from being a gold medallist in rock climbing to Mrs World pageant finalist. She is also a seven degree black belt holder to commando trainer. Seema Rao has been giving commando training to various armed forces in India for more than 20 years.

This is the service for which she doesn’t charge the Army. She gives training in combat shooting, fire fighting, scuba diving, critical combat and much more to the army personnel. Very few people mastered Jeet-Kune-Do, a martial art form, founded by Bruce Lee, and it is great to note that Seema Rao is one of them. She teaches jeet-kune do to her  students and is the only female commando trainer in India. Her life is truly an inspiration for many.

Early life

She is the daughter of Professor Ramakant Sinari, who fought for freedom of Goa from Portuguese. She grew up in a family where patriotism ran in her veins. At 48, she looks at her career as an inspiring one. Recalling her past she said: “Like any other child, I too wanted to be a doctor or an engineer in my school days. I was quite weak and bullied in my school.” But her fate took a turn when she got married to Deepak Rao.

“He was into martial arts and introduced me to this field. Initially I took it as a hobby, but slowly it led me to the advance level of adventures.” She also took up courses like mountaineering, rock climbing, tae-kwon-do, knife-fighting and fire-fighting. Today she is master of all these activities.

Hardships and sacrifices

While playing a role of combat trainer she had to sacrifice a lot in her life. With constant interest in combat training she has completed many courses and become only woman instructor in the world who successfully completed Bruce Lee’s art of jeet-kune-do.

“To be a successful person one has to go through a lot of challenges. I missed my father’s funeral because I was busy in an assignment in east India. We have also seen financial hardships,  I had to once sell my necklace to survive. I am so thankful to my husband who stood with me every single second of my life,” said Seema.

She adds: “Once I suffered a severe head injury during an unarmed combat. It was followed by memory loss for five weeks. I could not recognise anyone, except my husband but finally I recovered. “Also, we took a joint decision not to have our biological child because of my combat training. Combat training demands a lot of danger ridden activities that could hurt child in the womb. But, I am so lucky that I could adopt a girl child who lost her parents.”

Success Story

She is a perfect trainer one can understand with this example. She can shoot five rounds into the bulls eye of a very small target held at her husband’s head at 75 yards. She can also duck a live bullet fired from a 9mm pistol aimed at her head. She can shoot five targets within two seconds. Seema and her husband have developed a specific course called Rao’s Method of Reflex Shooting.

They aware armed and unarmed men for commando combat. They have established an Unarmed & Commando Combat Army (UCCA). In this organisation they research and develop modern combat styles and produce training to the forces. Her first Indian books on world terrorism is A Comprehensive Analysis of World Terrorism and Commando Manual of Unarmed Combat’ are available at libraries of FBI, INTERPOL, UN, and SWAT Police the world over.

She has been awarded with many national and international awards in past couple of years. She was awarded with World Peace Award by World Peace Congress, Malaysia for contribution to the country in 2008. US President’s Volunteer Service Award, three Army Chief Citations and Home Minister of India Letter of Commendation in 2009 are few other feathers in her cap. //

Meenakshi Singh: Making the world a better place

Meenakshi’s ‘Donate an Hour’ not only give education to underprivileged children but also make their parents self-sustainable, so that they won’t be dependent on any other in the future. Meenakshi wants people from all walks of life to come forward and donate some time to educate underprivileged children.


“Feeding beggars once or twice is not a way to eliminate poverty, but it gives beggar a chance to depend on others for lifetime for food or other basic needs. We make them aware, give them proper sessions and bring them in mainstream society to lead a life of dignity. It is our concept of self sustainable society.”

In Donate an Hour they have categorized concept into two, first children and second for their parents.

“We don’t work as a NGO or hire a teacher to educate them. We search a suitable volunteer from that cluster of slum area. That volunteer works as a teacher for the slum children, and also set an example of self sustainable,” said Meenakshi.

She said that they don’t accept money from anyone, but their time for others.  “We convince parents who don’t send the kids to school. After that we have established a mechanism of giving after school classes to these children with help of our volunteers.  We ask them to donate few hours of their life to make someone’s life.”

In second category, they work on their parents and their social environment. They make their parents aware about their role for a better future of their children. “We organize various workshops on sanitation, health issues and their personal hygiene. Our concept is very clear that it doesn’t matter if they are living in slum, they should not beg or steal. We motivate them, bring many companies to their locality to give them jobs according to their skills also organize many programmes for their skill development.”


Many slum children do not go to the school until someone forces their parents to do so. And this is biggest challenge – we need to convince slum parents, who are reluctant to send their children to the school. “Many of the time we have to hear harsh words from these people who don’t like to send their children to the school. But, we try again and again till we don’t get success.

Another challenge is to reduce the number of children dropping out of the school. “Most of these children do not go to the upper classes just because they started earning from small age.”

“We organize after school classes to improve their academic performance better in class and feed them with thoughts of importance of education before work.”

Thirdly, another challenge that Meenakshi and her volunteers face is social refusal and lack of cooperation with government authorities. “For example, in Sector 45 of Gurgaon, we give after school classes in a corner of a park, but residents of these area ask us to leave this space because it spoils the greenery and the posh look of the colony. Apart from that, when we approach local authorities like Municipal Corporation or MLAs for sanitation or any other community work they don’t pay any attention until several letters don’t reach on their tables.”

Future Plan

Meenakshi plans to start a new project of Vidya Mali which will have a tie-up with government schools that lack trained teachers. “We will send our volunteers to these schools to educate then and also distribute stationaries. Most importantly, we don’t pay our volunteers, all of them are working free of cost. We don’t work for money but to develop a sustainable society.”

To volunteer or to donate one can contact Meenakshi @ +91 08587935395 or www.donateanhour.org