पान:कानोसा भारतातील मुस्लिम मनाचा.pdf/83

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या पानाचे मुद्रितशोधन झालेले नाही


well in studies and most of them are now well settled as middle class families. This is the difference that roof over their heads made. Since I came in contact with so many families we started a new programme. Every year children of the workers who stood in first ten ranks in their class were given token prizes. These prizes were awarded to the winners in the canteen hall of the company. Later on for some years we arranged children's plays for them by various drama groups. This was also an indirect sponsorship for the Children's Theatre. In 1978 Sudha Karmarkar a well known actor and theatre personality, complained to the Prime Minister that industries do not support such movements. We booked their complete show at normal rates and added to the cultural life of our children. These events did not cost much to the company, but I have not seen many companies doing that at that point of time. A thought behind it was that the workers are my brothers and what my children can have should be had by their children also. This idea was further extended by distributing these prizes at the hands of one who stands first in Secondary School Certificate examination from Mumbai, instead of senior managers like me which is a normal practice. To receive a prize at the hands of SSC First rank holder by those class rank holders was an experience for those receivers as well as Guests. Usually we would be the first in July to invite SSC toppers. We went on adding to the programme and the Union gave us full cooperation. Not only our Bulletin but such events reached out to the families of our workers. My company was in a position to create this family feeling in the Megacity that is Mumbai. I have not encountered class conflict in the behaviour of our workers. I was opponent for workers but not a class enemy. I was staying within the factory premises only. When a go-slow agitation was going on in the factory my children would play on the lawns in front of the factory gate. The workers would assemble and shout slogans against me. The slogans were describing their assembly as a procession for my mock funeral. My young daughter was naturally curious to see the mob at the gate and hear the slogans. After some time she lost interest in the slogans and climbed on the nearby Guava tree to pluck the fruit. She fell down from the tree. I was out of the factory at that time. As soon as the workers saw that she had fallen those very slogan shouters came and took her to the doctor, got her the first aid and brought her back and put her to bed in my residence. After doing this they dutifully went back to the gate to shout slogans against me as directed. I learnt about the incident only later. They knew that having my mock funeral procession was as much a ritual as clapping hands at the Aarti at Puja. Once you understand this then life becomes easier. 78