18 Jul Gulabi Gang-Against Domestic Violence
Pink is stereotypically known as the feminine colour. They say it suits a woman as it symbolizes sweetness, tenderness, and approachability. But when pink becomes the colour of protest, it symbolizes the courage of women.
The winds of change have begun to blow and women are not staying silent about the oppression they face anymore; they are now taking the path of courage to protest against the domestic violence and corruption in the society.
In rural India, where the women are mostly helpless and subjected to all forms of injustice, a name like ‘Gulabi Gang’ is a ray of hope.
The founder of this vigilante group was Sampat Pal Devi, a valiant U.P. resident and an average housewife who had shown the courage of gathering women together to protest against domestic violence and social injustice. Although she didn’t have access to many privileges in life, she raised her voice against domestic violence and the unequal rights of women.
‘How Sampat Pal Devi brought about the Institution of Gulabi Gang’?
Sampat Pal Devi was just an ordinary housewife who lived in a village of Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh. She was married at the very young age of 12. When she was only 16 years old, she heard about her friend getting abused by her drunken husband. As she couldn’t have stopped the abuse alone, she called the neighbours together and beat her friend’s abusive husband in front of all of the village. And that’s how the idea of Gulabi Gang was embodied.
‘A Deeper Look into Gulabi Gang’
The word ‘gang’ doesn’t gloze over the work of Gulabi Gang very well. It‘s normally a group of women aged from 18 to 65. They put forth a determined effort to fight for the social causes that affect women like domestic abuse, the alarming issue of child marriage, the foul dowry system, and much more.
Along with protesting for the rights of women, they also tackle the severe issues of land reforms, securing food cards from corporations, getting admissions in schools, the rights of the people of lower castes, etc.
Gulabi Gang also works for starting up self-help groups for women so they can learn to be independent and support themselves by sewing, trading commodities, selling vegetables, etc. The distinctive clothing worn by the members of Gulabi Gang is pink saris and all of them carry a bamboo stick with them as a symbol of the Protestants.
‘The Success of Gulabi Gang’
Since this group is mainly based in rural areas, delivering speeches and discourse to the women is their primary source of spreading awareness. The women also share their personal stories in the articles of the newspapers, which are also very impassioning for the readers. Gulabi Gang is vigorously growing and flourishing, having planted institutions in several parts of Northern India.
All of their stations have a station head. Whenever a complaint gets lodged in a station, the station head proceeds the report to the group’s main commander group. At first, the police are given knowledge about the case. If the police fail to take any action; the gang deals with the issue themselves. The gang always tries to negotiate first by educating or talking to fix the issue. It is only when that doesn’t help that the gang copes with the matter by applying force. And Sampat Pal Devi had proudly made it known to the public that her gang succeeded in all their missions regarding the issue of domestic abuse.
‘More About Sampat Pal Devi’
It’s been a few years since the Gulabi Gang has been continuing without the leadership of Sampat Pal Devi. Sampat Pal Devi was also one of the contestants in India’s most popular reality TV show Big Boss Season 6, and one too many movies and documentaries based on her life have also been made to tell the tales of her heroism as she takes a firm stand against injustice.