Whether it’s a matter of settling land disputes or to appropriate drunkards who create ruckus, Uttar Pradesh based Green Gang founded by Angoori Deheriya deals with everything.
A gang of thousands of women draped in green coloured sarees are a force no goon wants to cross paths with.
While today the Green Gang is well known, Angoori’s story is of a woman single handedly taking on a patriarchal system is a mission to deal with unfairness, inequity and discrimination against women. She started the ‘Sangathan’ in 2010 fed up of the injustices she met with due to a land dispute.
ow It All Began
In a conversation with SheThePeople, Angoori recounts how in the mid-2000s her family nearly disintegrated when her three children were young and her husband fell severely ill and was bed-ridden. It was she who had to provide for everyone in her family without any permanent income.
“I used to make cardboard boxes for shoes, sweets, sarees etc. and sell those to earn a meagre living. When I got some money, I bought a small plot of 22 feet by 40 feet for 35,000 rupees near Tirwa in Kannauj district of Uttar Pradesh, but I never got any registry done, neither did the seller ever mention it. Since that area was far away from the village itself and understanding my family’s position, the man gave it to me in exchange for money in small instalments over a period of two years.
“After two years, I decided to build a small room in that plot since earlier we were living in a kaccha house there but as that area had started to develop, a lot of troublemakers started to come there often who would drink alcohol, pick up brawls with everyone around and did illegal activities.
They also instigated the person who had sold the plot to me to throw me out of that place or they will kill him. So, he threatened us to leave as I was alone and poor, I couldn’t do much about it. And since, I had no papers to prove that I was the owner of that plot, his brother, who is a lawyer, proved that I was living there illegally.
That day I lost everything that I had prepared bit by bit by earning the measly amount that I did,” Angoori recounts about her struggle and fight against injustice. This difficult phase inspired her to start the Green Gang. She knew she alone didn’t face such injustice.