Back in 2006, Sampat Pal Devi started Gulabi Gang a Women Vigilante Group in the Banda district of Uttar Pradesh when she saw a man beating his wife mercilessly even though she was pleading to stop.
The next day she came along with five women with lathi sticks (weapon) and taught him a lesson so that he won’t repeat it again.
The region was in so poor condition the women were facing many problems following old practices such as caste system, domestic violence, child marriage, female illiteracy, dowry, and more.
The women’s group is popularly known as the Gulabi or “Pink Gang,” as the members wear pink sarees and hold bamboo sticks to use as a weapon for punishing oppressing husbands, fathers, brothers and combat domestic violence and desertion.
Gulabi Gang is more popular in North India, it slowly increased in the number of members and now it has a huge membership and they actively involve in strengthening women empowerment through providing education, teaching self-defense, and economically self-sufficient.
Some people made allegations on Pal that she has started the group for her personal interest to improve financial but she doesn’t care and still she involves in the gang.
The Gang has a process to follow, they have established several stations, and each station has a section leader called “commander”, who is in charge of daily activities and the small problems of the people. She sends out regular updates and reports major issues to the gang leader.
First, they will inform to police, if they don’t take action on the complaint then the gang takes over it may be police or the government doesn’t care. Even local polices say “they are doing good work in solving the issues”. The gang also works with NGO’s to assist technological needs.
Gulabi gang was the inspiration for movies and books. Thy got Kelvinator 11th GR8! Women Award from Indian Television Academy and Godfrey Phillips Bravery Award for social bravery offered by Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Delhi.
In India we have seen women have been oppressed from ancient times, this group gives the women a strength, hopes, and freedom to raise their voice.