Sampat Pal Devi: Founder of Powerful Gulabi Gang


Women may be physically weaker than men to some extent but when it comes to inner strength men can never beat women! If a woman determines to do something she for sure does it. Never mess up with a woman, men. One such woman who has strong determination and will power is Sampat Pal Devi-the founder of famous Gulabi Gang. Sampat founded Gulabi Gang to empower women and to teach pervert men a lesson.  Let’s see more about this strong headed woman and the organization she is running to help all women.


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Sampat Pal Devi was born and brought up in Uttar Pradesh, India. At the age of twelve, she was married to a man from Banda, UP. At the age of sixteen, she first stood up against domestic violence. A man in the neighborhood was regularly abusing his wife, so Sampat encouraged all women neighbors to humiliate the man until he makes a public apology for his behavior. Influenced by social activist Jai Prakash Shivharey she decided to start the Gulabi Gang to support women’s rights. Gulabi or pink color is generally associated with women as most of the women love this color. So Gulabi Gang being a women’s gang has been named quite appropriately.  The members of Gulabi Gang wear Gulabi (pink) saris. Women in Sampat’s village and nearby villages slowly joined the gang. Sampat Pal Devi and her gang’s women have carried out many raids, beaten up abusive men and corrupt public officials, and almost always got success in improving their ways!


Sampat Pal Devi’s Gulabi Gang became extremely popular among women over the passage of time. This gang developed into an organised women’s movement with thousands of women from various districts of Uttar Pradesh working in it. Currently, Sampat Pal Devi has an approximately 270,000 members in her gang for women’s cause. The women members wear of Gulabi Gang carry simple weapons like bamboo sticks with themselves, which they use whenever they face violent resistance.


On 2 March 2014, Sampat Pal Devi was relieved of her role as the head of the Gulabi Gang amidst allegations of financial impropriety and putting her personal interests ahead of those of the gang. But Pal denied the charges and said she will overcome the “conspiracy” against her. She stood on a national level party’s ticket from the Manikpur constituency in Chitrakoot district in the 2012 UP assembly polls – and lost.


Whatever be the charges against her, one thing is sure and that is Sampat Pal Devi is one of the strongest women of modern India. She has changed lives of so many rural women in India. She represents women of India who refuse to bear torture and make their own destiny. Gulabi Gang brought happiness and strength in the lives of thousands of women. Hats off to Sampat Pal Devi for her guts and determination from WonderfulWomen!


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