Usha Vishwakarma, a 25-year-old teacher in a slum area, started Red Brigade after her colleague tried to rape her. She managed to escape, but when she tried to report th incident, she was told by her school and the police to stop making a fuss. She later found out that almost all her students had been sexually abused. They faced anything from daily harassment, like cat calls and molestation, to rape. She realised that the community preferred to remain silent, and the police weren’t interested in taking any action.
Instead the victims’ parents would pull their daughters out of school to keep them “safe”.
The Red Brigade started off as a group that enforced its own vigilante style of justice. If a girl or a woman was assaulted in any way, the group would confront the perpetrator. If he didn’t respond, they would tell his parents and family, and if that didn’t have any impact, they would use physical intimidation. All the Red Brigade girls are trained in martial arts.