Mission Shakti expands with the 'Green Gang' of 1000 women in rural Uttar Pradesh

Green Gang is working in 150 villages tackling issues mainly related to girls and women

The 'Green Gang Group' is a 1,000 women membered unit that has taken to the task of expanding the operations of the state's Mission Shakti initiative. The campaign is dedicated to uplift the condition of the women, empowering them and fighting crime against them simultaneously. The 'Green Gang' has targetted around 150 villages to eradicate the domestic issues of alcoholism, gambling, domestic violence, eve-teasing, child marriage and female foeticide.

The Rural Reform Team

The Green Gang initiative began around five years ago from a small village of Ramsipur in Varanasi when a small group of 10-15 women came together to correct the ways of the men in their families who were spending all their earnings on vices like gambling and alcohol. Under the Mission Shakti, this has been further doctrined, and groups of 15-20 women have been already deployed to mend the wayward ways of men in around 150 villages of Varanasi, Mirzapur, Sonbhadra, Chandauli, Jaunpur and Ayodhya.

With a simple modus operandi, the units are supposed to identify the 'addas' or the central meeting point where the men indulge in gambling and alcoholism. These are generally outside the village premises, in secluded areas. After identification, the Green Gang raids these units, destroying their cards and liquor bottles with the sticks they carry. The high rate of success of such units echoes around the state of Uttar Pradesh, and now, around 6 districts have the presence of such corrective units.

The member women are dressed in green sarees and their target areas focus mainly on issues related to women and girls. Each member of the Green Gang has the mobile number of the nearest police station which can be directly contacted in case of emergencies, and for police assistance. Each group consists of a 'Police Mitra'- one member who keeps in touch with the local police, providing them with regular updates.

Various NGOs who work towards similar causes such as the Green Gang have now started to support them. Divyanshu Upadhyaya of the Hope Welfare Trust, said, "Our coordinators are organizing meetings with the representatives of every gang and it has been decided to extend our operations in 50 more villages in the districts we are already working." In the next six months, we will be working extensively on checking eve teasing, imparting self-defence training to girls and dealing with issues like domestic violence, female foeticide."

Green for the Environment!


Working towards the cause of environment, Anita Devi, a group leader in Jalalpur Village in Jaunpur district informed "A couple of months ago, we noticed that the soil around the pond in our village was eroding fast. After a discussion, we planted trees around the pond and soon the practice was adopted in other villages also."

The Power of Women

Launched by the Chief Minister, the Mission Shakti marks the Hindu-Holy festival of Navratri- which celebrates the power of women through the powerful reincarnations of Goddess Parvati. The campaign began on Saturday with the beginning of 'Shardiye Navratri' and will culminate in April on 'Chaitya Navratri'.

Manju, the Mirzapur Jungal Mahal Village Gang Leader said, "We celebrate the birth of a girl child and also put green 'Khushhali Chinha' (mark of happiness) on the house where a girl is born. We also have 'informers' in each and every village who regularly keep passing information about the evils like domestic violence, eve teasing, child marriage etc. With our efforts, we are successfully contained these evils to a great extent."

-With inputs from IANS

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