Being a mother of five and the wife of an ice-cream vendor from one of the poorest villages in India did not stop this inspirational woman from standing up for women’s rights. Nothing could keep her from seeking justice, even if she had to wield a bamboo stick to get the job done.
Avengers in Pink
It all began when Sampat Pal Devi, the daughter of a poor shepherd from Banda, Uttar Pradesh, a village in Northern India, saw a man mercilessly beating his wife. She begged him to stop, but what she received in return was abuse for her insolence. The following day, she rounded up five women armed with bamboo sticks and evened the score.
The Gulabi Gang
Since then, women from far and wide have joined Sampat Pal Devi to create a sisterhood that watches out for its own. In 2006, they made their movement official by donning pink saris and calling themselves the Gulabi Gang. Today, they champion for the voiceless, fight corruption in the community and have dedicated their cause to giving women back their power – the power of pink.
With education for girls taking a backseat to child marriages that often result in domestic violence and dowry deaths, the Gulabi Gang have made it their mission to support and train women to develop skills that will allow them to become more independent. Striving to resurrect basic human rights for women, these justice-driven band of women promote education, expose corrupt government officials and even settle domestic disputes.
A rebel with a cause
Defying her parents to go to school, married off at the tender age of nine and a mother at only 13, Sampat Pal Devi worked as a government health worker before becoming a social crusader. She is living proof that with sheer courage and determination, one person can make a difference and pave the path for future generations. That’s why Sampat Pal Devi and her Gulabi Gang have made it into our personal hall of fame.
To find out more about the Gulabi Gang, what they do and how you can help, visit https://gulabigang.in/case-studies.php