Vigilantes in Pink

Fed up with abusive husbands and corrupt officials, India's poorest women are banding together, taking up arms, and fighting back. Even more shocking than the pink saris they wear: Their quest for justice is actually working.

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January 16, 2009 12:00 AM
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gulabi gang in india
G.M.B. Akash
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Gulabi Gang

THE GULABI GANG When local officials refused to take action against an alleged rapist, scores of pink-sari-clad women stormed the police station, demanding action. They also reportedly dragged a politician from his car to show him a decaying road.
gulabi gang in india
G.M.B. Akash
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Gulabi Gang

BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY Vigilantes learn how to fight with traditional lathis (sticks) outside the mud-brick home of Gulabi Gang founder Sampat Pal Devi.
gulabi gang in india
G.M.B. Akash
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Gulabi Gang

GULABI GANG FOUNDER Sampat Pal Devi has become a local celebrity and is often asked to mediate land and domestic disputes.
gulabi gang in india
G.M.B. Akash
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Gulabi Gang

TO BE "UNTOUCHABLE" Banda's poorest women earn as little as 75 cents a day and are often married off before puberty.
G.M.B. Akash
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Gulabi Gang

THE RIGID CLASS SYSTEM has relegated Banda's poorest women to menial jobs, like cleaning outhouses or preparing the dead for funeral pyres.