The Gulabi Gang is a women’s rights organisation that focuses on social work for women in North India. It is also famous for its violent reactionary actions against people that commit crimes against women.
Gulabi Gang was founded by Sampat Pal, in a distant remote village in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The village, called Banda, was one of many many small towns that were heavily impacted by violence against women. Sampat, along with almost 300,000 members, organised a women’s movement that spread across the state of UP.
These women called themselves the Gulabi Gang – because they dressed in gulabi clothing. Gulabi loosely translates to “the colour of a rose” or… well, the colour pink! Clad in pink sarees, the members of the Gulabi Gang armed themselves with bamboo sticks and other weapons, ready to use them to protect the powerless from abuse and fight corruption that causes women’s issues.
The group’s mission statement is – “Support and train women to enhance their basic skills to become economically secure and develop the confidence to protect themselves from abuse through sustainable livelihood options.”
Aside from protesting peacefully in certain cases, the Gulabi Gang is notorious for taking the law into their own hands. This has included: hunting down alleged perpetrators of physical or sexual violence, causing unrest among local populations in order to right anything that they considered wrong, and publicly shaming people they considered offenders, in a manner bordering on defamation.
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