I am proud to be a woman and I feel swollen with pride when I realize that there are women who stand up to claim their rights and fight the ills that have been persisting since centuries. The best example of this is the Gulabi Gang which has brought about a revolution despite the male dominant society.
We, the urban women can learn a lot from such vigilant sisterhoods. Their claim to popularity is the work they do towards maintaining social equality. Let’s know more about them here:
The founder, Sampat Pal, was married at the tender age of 12 to an ice cream vendor. By the time she turned 20, she had become a mother to 5 kids. The incident which stole her childhood had become the primary focus of the Gulab Gang, i.e., empower women and promote child education. With no formal education, Sampat Pal taught herself how to read and write and brought a difference in the lives of the women of Bundelkhand household.
On witnessing a woman being ill-treated by her husband, Sampat Pal raised her voice, however her revolt was unheard. She thereafter gathered a group of women to teach the man a lesson and thus began the never ending journey of the Gulabi Gang.
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Pal chose the color pink as it was free of any religious or political intentions. The women clad in pink saris specialized in lathi and used it as a medium to defend themselves and fight against a crime they witnessed.
The work of the Gulab Gang inspired the making of two films, a 2010 movie name Pink Saris by Kim Longinotto and documentary movie by Nishtha Jain named Gulabi Gang. The Madhuri Dixt starrer Gulab Gang was said to not have been based on her life, against which Sampat Pal protested for holding the film’s release.
With women becoming aware of the atrocities and the need to live independently, the group has seen the numbers increase to a 20,000. The group comprises of women from villages who have faced restriction since ages.
Jai Prakash Shivharey, the national convener of the Gulab Gang led a meeting where decision to oust the reigning commander-in-chief was taken. This was as a result of Pal’s decision to contest for Congress. The gang questioned her political aspirations and decided to move forward without her being in control.