It would quit be entertaining and stimulating to know how dear and much waited “Sunday” was not exactly a holiday nearly a century ago. There were people who used to work seven days straight in a week without a holiday. The Textile Mill workers of Bombay since 1854 used to work seven days a week thirty days a month without breaks for 15 hours daily.
Hence, the question arose how Sunday became a holiday for us today! The story behind this is an interesting event that is connecting to Narayan Meghaji Lokhande. Narayan Lokhade was the father of the Trade Union Movement in India. In the 17th and 18th centuries, India was famous for the production of fine Textiles in western countries. By Buying Cloth in India and selling it in Europe the East India Company made a Huge Profit. The First Textile mill was established in Bombay, Maharashtra in 1854.
Lokhade worked for some time as a storekeeper in a Bombay Textile mill. He collected the problems and issues of the working conditions in the factories and the problems faced by the labors. He edited the first labor weekly "Deenbandhu".
He struggled to declare Sunday as Holiday took at least eight years. Narayan Lokhade started a movement in 1881 which ended in 1889. He also rose some terms and conditions favoring work schedule of workers in front of the British Government. In these terms and conditions, he said that there must be half an hour break in the whole working day. Workers should get payment of their work in every 15 days and working hours should be decreased.
India Post issued a commemorative stamp in 2005 to pay tribute this extraordinary man, his effort didn’t only change the fate of his generation but also to change the life of many coming generations.
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