Sampat Pal, an illiterate, low-caste woman, set up the Gulabi Gang because of all the injustice and helplessness she’d experienced in her life. When 12, she was sent to a remote village to marry and was bullied by her in-laws. She rebelled against the stringent village rules and ended up on the streets with five young children.
Setting up the Gulabi Gang was her act of inspired desperation. Hundreds of women, all dressed in bright fuchsia saris, would gather to make a corrupt policeman enforce the law or to challenge a violent husband. Sampat, the ‘Commander in Chief’ of this group, is now famous throughout Uttar Pradesh. She doesn’t need to summon the Gulabi Gang anymore, she can often use her own notoriety to get results. In fact, Sampat is moving on to another stage in her life. Her struggles are now about what she will become.
At the heart of ‘Pink Saris’ are the four young women who we meet when they come to Sampat for help. They are all at a great crisis in their lives and see Sampat as their last hope. We watch their stories unfold; we know they are stories which are being played out countless times across India.