Social Service League (1911)

Narayan Malhar Joshi, the greatest exponent of the labour movement in India, founded the ‘Social Service League‘ in 1911 in Bombay. Its objective was “to collect and study social facts and discussions of social problems with a view to forming public opinion on questions of social service” and “to secure for masses better and more reasonable conditions of life and work”.

The Social Service League conducted training programmes for volunteers, whose services were utilized later for relief work among people suffering from famines, floods, epidemics, and other disasters, and also for welfare programmes among the poor. They managed many schools, reading rooms, libraries, day nurseries, and cooperative societies. Their activities also included legal aid and advice to the poor and illiterate, police court agents’ work, excursions for slum dwellers, facilities for gymnasia and theatrical performances, sanitary work, medical relief, and social clubs.

Narayan Malhar Joshi

N. M. Joshi is considered one of the pioneers in Modern Indian Social work. He was an Indian Trade Union leader and a follower of Gopal Krishna Gokhale.

Joshi became involved in labour issues and was associated with several Labour Organizations. In 1911, he established an organization called the Social Service League.

In 1919, International Labour Organization (ILO) came into existence. For the first time, N. M. Joshi, was sent by the Indian Government to the Washington summit of ILO in 1919 as a representative of labourers from India.

In 1920, N. M. Joshi started the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), along with Lala Lajpat Rai. He was the general secretary of AITUC from 1925 to 1929.

In 1931, N. M. Joshi left AITUC and formed the All India Trade Union Federation.

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