Search engine giant Google is celebrating the 132nd birthday of Anasuya Sarabhai and has dedicated a Google Doodle to honour the pioneer of the women’s labour movement in India. She was also the founder of Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association (Majadoor Mahajan Sangh), one of the oldest textile workers union which was set up in 1920. Pioneering feminist and activist Anasuya Sarabhai was instrumental in altering the course of India’s labor history. Anasuya was born in Ahmedabad on Novemeber 11 1885. Born into a wealthy family of family of Sarabhai and Godavariba. Married at a tender age, Anasuya fought social convention and left in 1912 to study at the London School of Economics. It was there that she discovered the idea of social equality, hence paving the way for her life’s work.
According to Google, ”Back home in Ahmedabad, Sarabhai started to work with disempowered women, particularly taking on the cause of local mill workers after learning of their 36-hour work shifts. In 1914 she helped Ahmedabad’s weavers successfully organize their first strike for higher wages. In the years that followed, she went on to become their most vocal supporter, negotiating with mill owners (including her brother) for better working conditions. She was affectionately called “Motaben,” Gujarati for “elder sister.”
The doodle dedicated to Anasuya Sarabhai on her birthday was created by Maria Qamar, a Pakistani-Canadian artist and author of the book Trust No Aunty. “Anasuya’s dedication to justice and equality is something I can relate to,” says Qamar. In drawing the activist, she took inspiration from the Indian textile industry. “I portrayed delicate fabrics and traditional patterns found in our homes and our closets,” Google quoted Qamar.