Narayan Meghaji Lokhande
A commemorative postage stamp on N.M. Lokhande, a pioneer of Indian labour movement :
Issued on May 3, 2005
Issued for : The Department of Posts is happy to issue a commemorative postage stamp on Narayan Meghaji Lokhande.
Stamp & FDC : Sankha Samanta
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multicolour
Denomination : 500 Paisa
Print Quantity : 0.6 Million
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
Name : Narayan Meghaji Lokhande
Born on 1848 at Thane, Maharashtra, India
Died on 1897 at Mumbai, India
A socially committed person who toiled ceaselessly to ameliorate the grievances of the industrial labour and downtrodden people was Shri Narayan Meghaji Lokhande. The facilities and amenities, which are enjoyed by the workers today, are all because of his sacrifice, devotion and hard work.
Shri Narayan Meghaji Lokhande was born in Thane in 1848. Due to financial constraints, he was forced to work after completing his matriculation from Thane. He started his career in Railways and Postal Department before finally joining the Mandavi Textile Mill as a Store Keeper. Life was very tough in the mills in those days. Due to congested atmosphere and lack of cleanliness the workers were not capable of working for long hours and suffered ill-health. He campaigned for ensuring basic rights to the workers by visiting various mills and united them for fight against all forms of exploitation. His tireless efforts resulted into the establishment of the first labour union ‘Mill Hands Association’ in 1884. A Factory Labour Commission was established in 1890 and Narayan Meghaji Lokhande was appointed in this Commission under the Chairmanship of Mr. Leth Bridge. Due to his efforts the Factory Act of 1891 came into force from January 1892.
Shri Narayan Meghaji Lokhande was a follower of Jyotirao Phule, the founder of ‘Satyashodhak Samaj’ in 1873. The philosophy and teachings of Jyotirao Phule made a lasting impact on Shri Lokhande and he pledged to devote his life for fighting the social ills and to improve the status of women and downtrodden.
In fact, the ideals of social justice, equality of men and women and eradication of casteism always remained dear to him. He was also a supporter of cooperative education.
As a Chief Editor of ‘Deenbandhu‘ he continued, his campaign on the issues dear to him. During the communal riots in Bombay in 1893, he exhorted the people to restore communal harmony and peace. He worked to ensure an atmosphere of positive dialogue between Hindus and Muslims. He also urged through the newspaper to maintain peace and amity. The British Government honoured him by conferring the title of ‘Rao Bahadur‘ for his outstanding efforts.
In 1896, the epidemic of plague had created havoc in Bombay and its suburbans. Shri Narayan Meghaji Lokhande started Maratha Hospital at Byculla to provide medical aid to the poor and underprivileged. He continued to work fearlessly in the epidemic effected area. However, he got affected by plague and succumbed to it on 9th February 1897 at age of 49.
Shri Narayan Meghaji Lokhande was a dedicated social worker who left a lasting imprint on the Indian industrial labour scenario through his selfless and tireless works. He is rightly known as the Father of Indian Labour Movement.
Text : Based on material given by the proponent.