Tuesday, 2 August 2016

EMPOWERING WOMEN #3: SAMPAT PAL

Sampat Pal's journey is one that is wholly unique and incredibly inspiring. After I finished reading the 'Pink Sari Revolution', written ever so beautifully by Amana Fontanella Khan, Sampat had to appear in my list of Empowering Women.
Sampat is the leader of the Pink Gang, or 'Gulaab Gang' as it is known in India; this is a gang that stands up against brutality towards women and those of a lower caste. The group encapsulates the need for women to unite and support each other and groups such as these are needed now more than ever in India.

Source:asiasociety.org
As a young Indian female, I have constantly been exposed to the harsh reality and struggles for women within parts of Indian culture. It is always something I am aware of and also something I have always felt angry about. Although I have seen only the remnants of the gender inequality problem within my culture, it is clear to see, through Amana's novel, how quickly such ideologies and beliefs can exarcebate and intensify to become something so evil and horrifying. Rape, as Amana explains, has increased by 792% in the past four decades as well as domestic violence, which has increased by 30% in India. Such figures are so deeply saddening and frightening and so the story of Sampat Pal, a powerful and strong woman who is prepared to speak for the suppressed and voiceless women of her nation, is phenomenal.

Source: www.nytimes.com

Sampat Pal created a gang of women who will stand with the people who are left behind in Indian society. Within Amana's book there are countless stories of when Sampat and her devoted members have supported those who seek their help. Members of the Pink Gang, Sampat in particular, are fearless and will fight against corrupt policemen and politicians who often manipulate and ostracize the ones who are deemed 'weak' in society. From reading the tale I have gained an insight to why social developments, such as gender equality, are failing to be addressed and this lies in the hands of  those with power in India. Many politicians, lawyers, policemen/women often uphold a culture where inequality can prevail, in order to strengthen and empower themselves. The 'Pink Sari Revolution' exposes the horrific injustice performed by some of India's politicians and police. The documentary, 'India's Daughter', (a documentary about a horrific gang rape on a Indian woman, Jyoti Singh, on a bus) also evidently shows that Indian lawyers, those who uphold the law, are so shockingly ignorant and are trapped in their own backward-way of thinking. It is scary to think that the ones who are employed to protect the citizens of India, are actually making life more dangerous and cruel.

Source: womensenews.org
Sampat had a child marriage and fell pregnant as a teenager, but still fought against restrictions placed on her from her in-laws and husband. She has continued to empower women through her own experiences and has rescued many from a life of domestic abuse, mistreatment, fear as well as many other struggles and difficulties. The story narrated in Amana's book, of a Indian girl named Sheelu who falls victim to India's corrupt politicians, police and patriarchal society exposes the problems within India but also highlights the courageous work that Sampat and her gang carry out. They are relentless, passionate and fiery.

Source: www.rediff.com
Sampat Pal is the leader of a group that are setting people free in India, allowing me to confidently label her as an empowering woman. A woman who unites females in order to fight against gender inequality and brutality. 
I would also like to show my gratitude toward Amana Fonatella Khan, an author that has used her platform to highlight Sampat's bravery and to reveal the injustice within India; she is also incredibly inspiring.

Source: imgur.com

What is your opinion on the Gulaab/Gulabi Gang?
Do you think they are effective at fighting for women's rights in India?


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