Meet India’s Red Brigade: Teens Fighting Against Rape [Photo]
India has been making rounds in the news lately for the country’s notorious rape crimes that go unlitigated by its justice systems. In a country where cultural stigma prevents women from reporting sexual crimes, most women have a story to tell of sexual harassment they’ve silently suffered. A tipping point came last December when a 23-year-old woman was raped and fatally beaten while riding public transportation in Delhi sparking world wide outrage.
Meet Usha Vishwakarma, founder of the “Red Brigade.” Located in Lucknow, the capital of one of India’s poorest and most conservative states—Uttar Pradesh, the group serves vigilante justice to males deemed to be harassing a girl and order them to stop by public humiliation. In a male-dominated country, such an action is perceived as a significant slight. The girls attend regular martial arts classes and learn self-defense techniques for free from their instructor. These girls have been forced to act, they say, because no one else will.