Google Doodle is celebrating the 132nd birth anniversary of Anasuya Sarabhai. She was the pioneer of the women’s labour movement in India. She had founded the Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association (Majoor Mahajan Sangh) in 1920. It is the oldest union of textile workers in India. Her name will remain etched in eternal history of Indian.
She was born in 1885 in a Sarabhai family of Ahmedabad. She lost both of her parents at an early age of 9. She was then married by her uncle at the age of 13. She diverced her husband and in 1912, she went England to continue her studies. During her studies, she met George Bernard Shaw and Sydney Webb, who opposed the revolutionary doctrine of Marxism. It started her journey to serve the cause of social equality. She returned back to India and became the ‘Motiben’ (in Gujarati, it means Elder Sister). She started working with the disempowered and marginal communities.
In 1914, when epidemic hit Ahmedabad, the mill workers approached Anasuya to fight for their rights. She even her brother Ambalal, who was the president of Mill Owner’s Association that time, and demanded better wages and working ambience for the laborers. Her efforts blossomed and trade union movement in India took its baby steps.
She dedicated her life for the betterment of labor class. In 1972, she passed away months after the formation of the Self Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA) which was a result of the efforts of Ela Bhatt and Motiben Anasuya.