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INDIA AND THE DIASPORA => Indian Perspectives => Topic started by: Kairi on June 10, 2014, 02:48:18 PM

Title: Pink Sari Gang aka the Gulab Gang, India’s Women Warriors
Post by: Kairi on June 10, 2014, 02:48:18 PM

excerpt "When an incidence of crime, corruption or malpractice is brought to their notice, the group seeks redress through dialogues, rallies and hunger strikes. But when nothing works, their sticks do the trick.

"The justice system in Bundelkhand is dysfunctional and unreliable," says journalist and author of Pink Saree Revolution, Amana Fontanella Khan. Khan says that Devi’s goal of gender equality and freedom has found success in Bundelkhand due to her bold and creative way of protests and has further empowered women here. 

"The Gulabi Gang has stepped into the vacuum left by the state and offers an alternative means of attaining justice."

The gang has even won the grudging recognition of the state authorities. "The Gulabi Gang has created such a force of women's rights and awakening that it has brought a new desire to fight against women's exploitation," acknowledges Arvind Sen, the superintendent of police of Banda district."

Full article here - (

Title: Re: Pink Sari Gang aka the Gulab Gang, India’s Women Warriors
Post by: Kairi on June 10, 2014, 02:54:39 PM
Bundelkhand in south-east Uttar Pradesh is among the most underdeveloped and poverty-stricken areas in India. Crime and government corruption are rampant. The upper-caste people rule by the strength of their money and influence. The poor, lower-caste people are daily wage labourers or work as farmers in the fields owned by the elite.

The situation for women in Bundelkhand is even worse. To prevent free mixing with boys, residents do not send their girls to school. Girls are generally married off at an early age. There are many instances in which in-laws torture and even burn young girls if the parents cannot satisfy them materially after marriage, even though the dowry has been paid. Abandoning a girl after a few years of marriage is also common here, as most of the marriages are not registered in the civil court. Domestic violence is prevalent. Most of the rape and sexual abuse cases are not reported to the police for fear of social stigma, and hence the rates are high.

Sampat Pal Devi, 48 and a mother of five, has emerged as a voice for these women. She got together with a group of like-minded women from the area and they christened themselves the "Gulabi Gang". They quickly became popular for their "gulabi" (pink) saris - pink is an "independent" colour in India, not aligned, as are other colours, with a particular political party - and for their fierce ways of solving problems and helping each other.

The gang came into prominence in 2007, when they beat up the then-officer in charge of the police station in the nearby town of Attara. The incident happened when Devi and her group intervened in a matter on request from a lower-caste woman whose husband was kept in police custody for 13 days without charges. Devi demanded the officer register a case or release the man. When the officer abused her verbally, Devi says, she flared up and slapped him, and the other Gulabi Gang members then beat him. The officer was eventually suspended on disciplinary grounds.

Full article here -

Title: Re: Pink Sari Gang aka the Gulab Gang, India’s Women Warriors
Post by: Kairi on June 10, 2014, 03:04:07 PM
excerpt -

"Her seeds of rebellion were sown very early on when in face of her parents' resistance to send her to school, she began writing and drawing on the walls, floors and dust-caked village streets.

She finally ended up going to school, but was married off when she was nine in a region where child marriages are common. At 12, she went to live with her husband and at 13 she had her first child.

Sampat Pal Devi says nobody helps the poor

To keep the home fires burning, Sampat Devi began to work as a government health worker, but she quit after a while because her job was not satisfying enough.

"I wanted to work for the people, not for myself alone. I was already holding meetings with people, networking with women who were ready to fight for a cause, and was ready with a group of women two years ago," she says.

Sitting outside a home in Attara, Sampat Devi waves her calloused hands, breaks into a rousing song to "uproot the corrupt and be self reliant", and animatedly talks to women - and men - who flock to her with their problems.

A mother brings in her weeping daughter who has been thrown out by her husband demanding 20,000 rupees from her parents.

"He married me for the love of money," sobs Malti.

Sampat Devi tells her "gang" that they will soon march to the girl's house and demand an explanation from the husband. "If they don't take her back and keep her well, we will resort to other measures," she says."

Full article here - (