London museum set to exhibit 'pink sari' as a symbol of sisterhood of Gulabi Gang's women warriors

London museum set to exhibit 'pink sari' as a symbol of sisterhood of Gulabi Gang's women warriors

The sari belongs to Sampat Pal, leader of the famed vigilante group — Gulabi Gang.

In a tribute to rural women empowerment, one of world's leading museums devoted to contemporary design — The Design Museum of London — is slated to display a 'pink sari' in an exhibition. The pink sari, in honour of the famed vigilante group known as Gulabi Gang, will be exhibited under the Indian Fashion's 'Offbeat Sari' section.

The sari is a metaphor for progressive fortitude and expression of forward-thinking and a confluence of cultural influences. The movement, that the garb sparks, celebrates women empowerment with the 'pink sari' symbolising sisterhood.

Gulabi Gang founder Sampat Pal's Pink Sari to adorn London exhibition

Sampat Pal Devi
Sampat Pal Devi

The curator of the exhibition, Priya Khanchandani, sent an email to the leader of the Indian social group, stating, "Dear Gulabi Gang, I have followed your incredible work for up to a decade now and hope you don't mind me getting in touch. I would love to include a pink sari belonging to the Gulabi Gang in the exhibition as an example of the sari as an object of resistance and wondered if you might be able to lend a pink sari worn by one of your members to us. Would you be willing to lend us a sari worn by Sampat Pal or another key member of the group?"

"I would be honoured to tell the story of the Gulabi Gang's work to audiences here in the UK and to display the sari among a carefully chosen selection of saris reflecting the story of contemporary India today," it said further.

The social group Gulabi Gang, that continues to wage war against rampant oppression, attracting global eyes is another step forward in their journey.

On the London museum's move, Gulabi Gang's founder Sampat Pal said, "Gulabi Gang's fight has reached foreign lands. I was happy when called to France for the first time in 2008. We have now grown to 11 lakh members. I am sending my sari along with blouse, petticoat and stick to London by a courier to be displayed there."

About Gulabi Gang, the extraordinary women warriors

A vigilante squad, the Gulabi Gang first grabbed everyone's attention when they rose in opposition to widespread abuse against women. Started in 2006 by a puissant Sampat Pal Devi hailing from Bundelkhand, the group wears pink saris and carries pink lathis, as a symbolic move, and fights rampant subjugation of women.

Gulabi Gang first appeared in Uttar Pradesh's Banda district and comprises women between 18-60 years old. Today, it has reached lakhs of supporters and continues to seek justice against the perpetrators committing atrocities against women.

London museum set to exhibit 'pink sari' as a symbol of sisterhood of Gulabi Gang's women warriors
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