U for Uniformed Red Brigade #AtoZChallenge

The Red Brigade : Pic Credits - The Better India

The Red Brigade : Pic Credits – The Better India

Eve teasing, passing on lewd comments and groping. All this is enough to scare girls who are out sometimes to school or to run an errand. Unfortunately, some fall prey and are molested or raped. In slums and in rural sectors, these stories are commonly heard. While police reports can be filed, there is pressure from family on losing face, shame, and then the ultimate fear of being tagged characterless.

Usha Vishwakarma, the founder of Red Brigade took matters into her own hands. At 18, she was assaulted by her peer. She saved herself and escaped but the anger never did. In spite of putting up a fight, she was harassed and put to blame. For two years, she could not forgive and then she started the Red Brigade. Instead of staying indoors to avoid lecherous men, she formed a group of women who were all victims and started training them on self-defense. Strategic moves to attack weaknesses when pinned by a man and this skill let these women win the physical advantage that men have.

Not just martial arts, the Red Brigade involves the police to get the accused behind bars.

They also walk up to accused’s house to inform the family members of the wrongdoing to bring shame and awareness that no such act can be a woman’s fault.

It is not about the clothes she wears, how she walks or what time she steps out. It is about her safety and security.

Dressed in the uniform of a red kurta/top and a black bottom – the Red Brigade started off on the outskirts of Lucknow in 2011.

What started as a 15 member set up is now 8500 strong across the country and has trained over 17000 women till date.

Vigilant Justice is debatable here but think of these vulnerable women. Think of the harsh conditions they survive in and then take into account how the family stops backing these women in case of any unfortunate incident. While justice takes time to come, what’s wrong in protecting self and teaching a lesson to one that deserves the most?

All is fair in love and war and this is a war against crime.

I am blogging from A to Z during April  and the theme I have chosen is set on women. I am also a minion on co-host Pam’s Unconventional Alliance along with Claire, Shalini and Rajlakshmi. Visit us, show us some love and don’t leave without sharing your thoughts. 

17 Responses

  1. Rekha says:

    15 to 8000….Kudos! This is the best example of channelizing your anger in the right direction. More and more power to them!
    Rekha recently posted…#ChildAbuse and its Long-term Effects (#Blogathon Post #2)My Profile

  2. Shalini says:

    Salute and Respect. We need more women like them! And that definitely is a whooping number. Let it grow more.
    Shalini recently posted…The Uniform #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

  3. Soumya says:

    15 to 8500? WOW!

    I’m proud of women like them.
    Soumya recently posted…U: Unlearn #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

  4. Esha Dutta says:

    Wow! Women power can achieve so much! Thanks for spreading and sharing such positive stories through your posts. I am enjoying them very much, Parul, coz they’re packed with so much of affirmation and relevance to our everyday world.

  5. Richa says:

    Wow!Women power is all webers today n hats off to the people accelerating it.

  6. Tina Basu says:

    Women – more power to women, Nari shakti zindabad!

  7. Bellybytes says:

    More power to you Parul for making us aware of women’s initiatives to help themselves.

  8. Geets says:

    What shocks me or hurts me to be precise is the fact that instead of supporting the woman who were victim to abuse, the family and the society blames things on them. It’s not the wrong doer who is worried about his deeds, but the one innocent one who fell victim to it!

    A brave move indeed!


  9. Kala Ravi says:

    Nari Shakti ko pranaam! This is indeed a great initiative. The best way to combat attack is preparedness and self-defence. I liked that this uniformed brigade visits the accused family and informs them of their misdoings, that is tackling problems at the grassroots. Thanks for this superb post Parul.
    @KalaRavi16 from

  10. rajlakshmi says:

    this is amazing!! We need women to be trained to handle any situation and kick some ass too.

    A Whimsical Medley
    Twinkle Eyed Traveller
    rajlakshmi recently posted…[Yoga] Utthita Parsvakonasana #atozchallengeMy Profile

  11. It is great that this Brigade has received so much support from women. Maybe they could start some basic training workshops for school students, in order to create awareness from a younger age? 🙂

  12. Dashy says:

    Kudos to those bravehearts ! It takes courage to overcome an assault and build a brigade that strong.
    Dashy recently posted…A Solitary EuphoriaMy Profile

  13. Wow! More power to the young girls. Pray they are safe always!

  14. Mabel Kwong says:

    This is such an inspirational story and good on the girls for standing up for themselves, and giving themselves a voice through the Red Brigade. No woman should ever let the perpetrator get the upper hand. “It is about her safety and security.” Exactly. Women should be free to wear what they want, and those around us shouldn’t be so quick to label and judge us for the way we present and carry ourselves – and we could all be more open-minded. Women are just as smart and strong as men, and it is time we have equal rights.

  15. Shilpi says:

    Thanks for sharing info Parul. Your blogs are always full of positivity. Keep spreading it.

  16. More power to them. These brave women are spreading hope of making world a better place for women.
    Thanks for sharing the info Parul:)

  17. Those look like brave young women – I am so impressed and hope they grow stronger and stronger.

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