New Delhi (Sputnik) — A village in India is undergoing a unique social experiment these days. Clad in a green sari, womenfolk from the village Khushiyari of Varanasi district in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh have organized themselves as ‘Green Gang’ and are fighting root causes of domestic violence like gambling, alcoholism and training women for self-defense. The group members have taken the pledge to fight social evils like child marriage and dowry.
Green Gang, which has now developed as an organized movement with the support of a non-governmental organization, was started at the individual level by the women of the village. When requests to the men did not bear fruit, women of the village decided to form a strong group and raid individual households, threatening me to either give up alcohol or face dire consequences. The group threatens men to the extent that there have been cases where men completely gave up alcohol and wife bashing.
The Green Gang has the full support of state police who have named them ‘Police Mitra’ which in Hindi means ‘friends of the police.’ The group also helps women in the region realize their rights while promoting the healthcare and welfare schemes of the government.
Students of Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi are coaching the women for self-defense and making them more aware of the worldview on such issues.
Social science experts, however, are not much excited about the experiment.
“Such experiments are often short-lived and momentary. We also had something called Gulabo gang in Uttar Pradesh against alcoholism. The story was even made into a Bollywood movie. The energy of such organized groups need to be utilized in the right manner to bring out changes in the society,” Prof Badri Narayan of the Allahabad-based GB Pant Institute of Social Sciences said.
Nevertheless, the NGO that is assisting the Green Gang claimed that womenfolk of several nearby villages have also approached them to help them in forming such gangs of their own.