Jagdish Raj Shrimali - A Child Labourers Journey to the Echelons of State Governance

Jagdish Raj Shrimali - A Child Labourers Journey to the Echelons of State Governance

Shrimali has been one of the influencers of founding the ESIC Hospital in Udaipur, which provided a crucial support to the region during the COVID period and 
The story of Workers Leaders and State Minister Jagdish Raj Shrimali, Udaipur Mavli, Leaders of Udaipur, Udaipur Politics, Rajasthan Politics
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It is not everyday that we see a local people's leader make it big at the district, state or national level - and Jagdish Raj Shrimali's journey from being a child labourer in Udaipur to a workers leader and finally getting recognition as a State Minister is a motivational story. We at UdaipurTimes took this opportunity to meet Jagdish Shrimali and introduce this workers leader to our readers through our platform (a video of his interaction with me is embedded in this post itself).

Humble Beginnings

Jagdish Raj Shrimali was born in a small village near the historical battlefield Haldighati near the  City of Lakes, Udaipur. His roots in this village led to a strong influence of Maharana Pratap's personality on his character.

The economic condition of his family was weak as his father was a small farmer supporting a large family. Shrimali is the youngest son in the family. At the age of 14, he left his village in search of work as he had to leave school after finances were short, due to his two elder sisters marriages. He worked as a child laborer, first at Bombay and then at Udaipur, doing odd jobs and providing for his family as well as continuing his studies.

INTUC and Workers Cause

At the age of 17 years, he was hired as a laborer with the Udaipur Cement factory that is located at Dabok in Mavli Tehsil of Udaipur district. While working at Udaipur Cements, he joined the labor organization INTUC (Indian National Trade Union Congress) after witnessing the problems of other laborers working alongisde him. His journey with the Labour Union establishment began as an ordinary worker, but he continued to gain fame among the co-workers due to his resolute and welfare oriented approach and advisory style, he became the District President of Udaipur chapter of INTUC and on course of successfully discharging his duties, has been the holding the post of President of the INTUC Rajasthan all these years.

Mazdoor se Mantri Tak ka safar Jagdish Raj Shrimali, Who is Jagdish Raj Shrimali

Seeing his efficiency and dedication to the cause of labour and the INTUC, he got the opportunity to represent India twice at the international level - once in 2022 at the International Labor Conference at Tokyo (Japan) and then at the World Youth Labor Conference in 2015 at Geneva (Switzerland).

When Shrimali took chargeas INTUC State President, INTUC Rajasthan has mere 25,000 odd members. However,  with hard work, persuasion and standing and struggling for workers rights, Shrimali got the membership to reach a mammoth 3 lakh workers.

Biggest Achievement

Shrimali played a very significant and pivotal role in getting the Cement Factory Udaipur Cement Works operational once again. The factory that used to employe thousands of workers was closed and lay dysfunctional since 2002. Over 2,500 workers lost their jobs and livelihood. After 12 years of diligent efforts by INTUC under the leadership of Shrimali, the factory finally took off the ground and work resumed.  The first plant was commissioned at a cost of Rs 8.5 Cr and the plant was deployed for production at a cost of Rs. 16.5 Cr.  Shrimali, being an extremely religious man, considers that all his efforts and the final results are due to the blessings of his beloved deity, Maa Hinglaj Dhuni Mata, whom he holds in high  esteem. He says that he prayed regularly and with honest devotion to his beloved deity asking her to give her blessings to restart the factory so as to give the labourers and their dependent families livelihood. Shrimali adds that this is probably a one off case of a government owned factory that was restarted after such a long period.

Mazdoor se Mantri Tak ka safar Jagdish Raj Shrimali, Who is Jagdish Raj Shrimali

Industrial Area in Mavli

Shrimali, in his interaction  with Udaipur Times also said that he once requested the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot to provide a new industrial area to Udaipur. He urged the CM, highlighting that if he will sanction a new Industrial area in Udaipur,  it will create enormous employment opportunities for the locals, especially the labour class. The Chief Minister accepted his suggestion and persuasion and announced a new Industrial Area at Amli village under Mavli constituency and permitted to set up as many as 272 industries in the Amli Village Industrial area. Along with this, the container depot located at Khemli village, which was at the verge of closure was prevented from being closed after Shrimali and hi supported undertook a 6 day hunger strike.

ESIC Hospital Udaipur

Being a member of the Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Regional Board, he was instrumental in getting the 100 bed ESIC Hospital sanctioned at Chitrakoot Nagar, Udaipur. This hospital, which was constructed just before the COVID lockdown, played an important role during the pandemic and provided immense service to the suffering populace of the region and beyond.

Jail Inmates

Shrimali, who had been to prison time and again as a workers leader, also established a learning and training camp for Jail inmates in Udaipur, under his Regional Chairmanship of the Central Labour Education Board.

Syndicate Bank

While being appointed to the Board of Directors of the Syndicate Bank, he was instrumental in the opening of multiple branches of the Bank in Udaipur and across Rajasthan and setting up the Regional Branch of Syndicate Bank in Udaipur.

Shrimali is religious in nature and is an ardent devotee of Maa Hinglaj Dhuni Mata and holds the deity in high esteem. Shrimali did various renovations in the temple premises there, like Bhojanshal, Hall, Sinhdwar, development work and renovation work, etc. Shrimali also got an amount of Rs. 150 Cr approved from the Forest Department for the development and maintenance of the  hillock that houses the temple of Maa Hinglaaj Dhuni Mata.

Shrimali is famous for his bold character and style of speech and is having a huge number supporters who are also fans of his oratory skills.

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