Celebrating the Pink Power of the Gulabi Gang on IWD 2017
An organizational unit of fantastic women known as the Gulabi Gang or Pink Gang came into formation in 2006. Since then, there has been no looking back for these feisty women. This women’s movement was created by a lady called Sampat Pal Devi who lived in the Banda District of Uttar Pradesh. This vices in this area were numerous. The families had a patriarchal structure like most families across the urban and rural areas of India. The caste hierarchy was rigid and divisions, sharp. Domestic violence occurred often. Child marriages were rampant. Demands for dowry were extortionate. Most women weren’t literate. To fight these problems, the Gulabi Gang was rose from the ashes. The members don bright gulabi sarees and wield bamboo lathis.
In its incipient stage, the gang was formed merely to inflict penalties on unjust patriarchs whether they be husbands, fathers or brothers. The main aim was to counter abandonment of wives and strive against domestic violence. The Gulabi Gang came to the rescue of the rural women in pink sarees. These pink sarees symbolize feminine strength and solidarity. The bamboo stick wielding vigilantes would confront the men who committed grave misdeeds and entreat them to see sense. Those who refused to change their ways were repudiated in public. If the situation required, the Gang would have to use their lathis to defend themselves.
Gulabi Gang strongly strives to empower women. They want that women should have equal socio-economic, cultural and political opportunities. Their cause resonates with women’s non governmental organisations all over India.
The founder of Gulabi Gang, Sampat Pal has grown into a big name as a social activist for lending a voice to the hapless women of the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh. Her work in the arena of Women Empowerment and welfare is a monumental contribution to our society. She guides a team of 270,000 vigilante women who look pretty in pink. She has proved her mettle as a worthy mentor. She even appeared on popular Colors TV Reality Show Bigg Boss Season 6 and won the hearts of the the audience across the country.
The Bollywood movie starring 90’s megastar Madhuri Dixit called “Gulaab Gang” was based on the group of female crusaders. Their journey has been traced in two documentaries: “Pink Saris,” directed by Kim Longinotto, and “Gulabi Gang,” directed by Nishtha Jain.
Sampat Pal says, “We are not a gang in the usual sense of the term, we are a gang for justice.” On International Women’s Day 2017, the VamaIndia team would like to bring this heroic rural woman to the fore and applaud her efforts. Since the 2017 campaign theme for International Women’s Day is “Be Bold For Change,” we think that Sampat Pal presents a laudable example . Kudos to Women Power!!