The Durga Vahini (Army of Durga) is the women's wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP). It was established in 1991 and its founding chairperson is Sadhvi Rithambara. The Vishva Hindu Parishad states the purpose of the Durga Vahini is to encourage more women to participate in prayer meetings and in cultural activities. Kalpana Vyash, a senior leader of the organization, said that the Durga Vahini members dedicate themselves "to physical, mental and knowledge development". According to Vyash, the total membership of the group is 8,000 as of 2002, and 1,000 members are from Ahmedabad.