The Gulabi gang (from Hindi gulabi, “pink”) is a group of Indian women vigilantes and activists originally from Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh, but reported to be active across North India as of 2010.
The Gulabi gang was founded in 2006 by Sampat Pal Devi, a mother of five and former government health worker (as well as a former child bride), as a response to widespread domestic abuse and other violence against women. Gulabis visit abusive husbands and beat them up with laathis (bamboo sticks) unless they stop abusing their wives. In 2008, they stormed an electricity office in Banda district and forced officials to turn back the power they had cut in order to extract bribes. They have also stopped child marriages and protested dowry and female illiteracy.
The group, which the Indian media portray positively, was reported to have 20,000 members as of 2008, as well as a chapter in Paris, France.
The Gulabi gang is the subject of the 2010 movie Pink Saris by Kim Longinotto and the 2012 documentary Gulabi Gang by Nishtha Jain. Another movie, Gulab Gang, starring Madhuri Dixit in the leading role, is to be released on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2013.