The gulabi gang is good
Meet the Gulabi Gang. This is an amazing women’s movement that was formed in 2006 by Sampat Pal Devi in Banda District, Uttar Pradesh. One of the poorest districts in the country, Banda has a patriarchal culture, deeply riven caste sections, women’s illiteracy, domestic violence, child labour, child marriages and dowry demands….have we left out any issue that rips our country apart, and therefore this district?
Yet, the pink brigade formed a team and then took over finding solutions to many of the issues. Known as the Gulabi or ‘Pink’ Gang due to their screaming, pink dresses, they come armed with bamboo sticks to attack problems. Sampat sets the record straight when she says that it is a “gang for justice.”
Initially, the Gulabi Gang wanted to punish abusive male members of the family, such as husbands, fathers and brothers. They also wanted to fight against domestic violence and desertion. Some of the gang members would confront abusers and convince them of whatever was right. Serious abusers were brought out into the public and embarrassed. If the men turned violent, then so did the women, with lathis!
The Gulabi Gang today has thousands of women in its fold, but also men. They have solved a number of issues. Some of them see to it that foodgrains and distributed fairly to people below the poverty line. Others ensure that pension is paid equitably to elderly widows who do not have birth certificates. Preventing abuse of women and children, and adopting simple methods, such as direct action and confrontation is followed.
Their reach has spread so widely that while they have been supporting mostly women, they have been asked by men to challenge not only male supremacy, but also human rights abuses on weak sections.
Now whoever said that pink is pallid? Wear a dress, join them, and find out.