Sunday, 22 April 2012

Empowerment in Pink....

I read about these ladies in a magazine at the hairdresser. They seek the equality of women through education, health and if they have to hit a few men around the head to make that happen? So be it.   Imagine how empowering it is for these women, who live in dire, desperate circumstances, to come together to fight oppression.  

One day when Sampat Pal Devi, a simple woman living in a village in Northern India, saw a man mercilessly beating his wife. She pleaded with him to stop but he abused her as well. The next day she returned with a bamboo stick and five other women and gave the rogue a sound thrashing.

The news spread like wild fire and soon women started approaching Sampat Pal Devi in droves requesting similar interventions. Many women came forward to join her team and in the year 2006 she decided that the sisterhood needed a uniform and a name and thus the pink sari was chosen, to signify the womanhood and understated strength.

The Gulabi Gang kept a watch on all community activities and protested vociferously when they saw any manifestation of injustice or malpractice. On one occasion, when Sampat Pal went to the local police station to register a complaint, a policeman abused and attacked her. She retaliated by beating him on the head with her lathi. On another occasion she dragged a government official out of his car to show him a crumbling road that was in need of urgent repair. After all, what cannot be endured must be cured!