Google celebrated the 132nd birthday of Anasuya Sarabhai, pioneer of the women’s labour movement in India, on Saturday with a doodle. Sarabhai founded the Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association (Majadoor Mahajan Sangh), India’s oldest union of textile workers, in 1920.
Born on November 11, 1885, to an industrialist’s family in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad, Sarabhai played a pivotal role in altering the course of India’s labour history. She was highly influenced by the suffragette movement in London in 1912.
In Ahmedabad, Sarabhai took up the cause of local mill workers after she came to know of their 36-hour work shifts. In 1914, she helped Ahmedabad’s weavers successfully organise their first strike for higher wages. Later, she became the voice of several workers and negotiated with mill owners on their behalf for better working conditions.
The doodle was created by Maria Qamar, the Pakistani-Canadian artist and author of the book ‘Trust No Aunty’. “Anasuya’s dedication to justice and equality is something I can relate to,” said Qamar. She said her doodle was inspired by the Indian textile industry. “I portrayed delicate fabrics and traditional patterns found in our homes and our closets,” Qamar added.