‘Chiguru Balvikas Sanstha’ is a home for young girls who have been rescued from the claws of child labor. These girls address a lady very affectionately as “Amma” or “mother”.
This article is on this lady, the great Indian hero, who to her credit is instrumental in rescuing over 3000 children from the barbaric clutches of the silk factories of Magadi (about 70 km from Bangalore).
It all started in the 1990s when Sarojamma visited these silk units and to her horror saw these children subjected to inhumane working conditions. They were forced to slog for long hours as their nimble fingers were very useful in the process. The factories were dim lit factories and accidents were frequent.
Unscrupulous owners of these mills exploited these innocent children (some as young as 6) to the hilt and their factories were the den for the worst form of child labor.
The indomitable Sarojamma was deeply moved by the plight of these kids. She made a compelling case out of her research and published it. She filed a lawsuit against the Magadi Silk coterie.
In this period, her husband, a whistle blower was murdered. She did not allow this incident to deter her and continued her valiant fight against the powerful silk industry lobby.
Her inexorable efforts were finally rewarded when 80 % of the 1000 odd silk factories were closed and 3000+ children freed.
However, this was just one facet of the victory. Most of the young girls who were rescued had no homes to go. This is what led to formation of ‘Chiguru Balvikas Sanstha’.
If the ban on child labor in Karnataka has made good progress, it is largely due to this great Indian hero. The nation is extremely proud of her and wish her the very best in educating and training these young flowers.
What a lady. May her tribe increase.