India: Pink Vigilantes by Sanjit Das

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47 year old Sampat Pal Devi, founder and leader of the 10,000 strong 'Gulabi Gang' (Pink Gang). Pal Devi, an impoverished mother of five, has emerged to become something of a messianic figure in the region. She left her job as a government helth worker because she didn't find it satisfying enough. "I wanted to work for the people, not for myself alone." In the badlands of Bundelkhand, one of the poorest parts of one of India's most populous states, a gang of female vigilantes have sprung up to fight the oppression of a caste-ridden, feudalistic and male dominated society. In a land where dowry demands and domestic and sexual violence are common, the 'Gulabi Gang', so called for their uniform of shocking pink saris, are picking up their lathis to fight against corruption and violence against women.