Red Brigade Lucknow is a non-governmental organization located in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India. The organization was founded by Usha Vishwakarma and focuses on empowering women through self-defense education.
Usha Vishwakarma survived an attempted sexual assault by a coworker at the age of eighteen.
In 2010, while conducting a workshop with teenaged girls, Usha discovered that most of the participants (53 out of 55) were sexually assaulted in their own houses by their own family members or close relatives. This workshop broke their belief that the girls are safe at home. Hence along with a group of 15 girls, most of them the victim of one or other form of sexual assault decided to fight back. Red Brigade Lucknow is formed by a group of Survivors of Sexual Violence under the leadership of Usha Vishwakarma. Red Brigade Lucknow is a group of Survivors.
Initially, the group started an awareness campaign regarding women issues through street plays and workshops; dressed in red and black, red denoting struggle and black denoting protest. Subsequently, the Red Brigade members took martials arts (wu shu, karate) lessons at a local studio called the Dragon Academy Dojo in Lucknow; however, as word spread of the group, several international teachers began to travel to instruct the group. Later, they found that self-defense techniques are more reliable in protecting oneself from sexual assault; the Brigade learnt self-defense and started training/equipping other girls with the self-defense techniques under the name Mission One Million.
Domestically, the Red Brigade Lucknow has received extensive media coverage in India including numerous television appearances, radio interviews and news coverage.
Internationally, the Red Brigade’s story and mission has been translated into over twenty different language including articles in: Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese, Danish, English, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese,Farsi, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Taiwan, Czech and Turkish.