Almost nine years ago,Sampat Pal established her own foundation named Gulabi Gang. Today it is an organisation which has around 400000 members working in Uttar Pradesh. Al Jazeera news organisation has also collaborated with it.
The gang’s mission is to promote gender equality, challenging the merciless caste system and work for women’s empowerment and human rights. They wear bright pink saris and carry bamboo sticks, which are used more for intimidation than violence.
Pal is a heroic woman. She is the one who has beaten up a police officer when he refused to file a rape case. She revolted against the office of utility company that was withholding the power from a village and paraded a corruptcity official as he did not ask his employees to construct the road properly.
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For women in India, violent crimes are common and lower caste women are objectified as the most available ‘ objects’ which makes them more vulnerable and they are more threatened. The situation is worst in Uttar Pradesh and most of the cases pertaining to sexual violence happens in Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh police is considered as the largest criminal organisation of India.
Gulabi Gang is bringing positive changes and it has provided us with powerful feminist role models. Pal is a low caste and illiterate woman. She was a child bride and a mother when she was 15 but she rebelled against her in-laws, who treated her like a slave. She organized several empowerment groups and amongst those advocacy groups, Gulabi Gang was the most popular and it also got international fame.
In 2011, The Guardian newspaper named Pal amongst the top 10 most influential women in the world. Pal says that for a women in India, their struggles starts at home. A woman must fight oppression she is facing in her family so as to become an active member of this gang.