Ramchandra Sakharam Ruikar, one of the pioneers of the labour movement in India, was born on 8 January,1895 in the village of Rui, District Kolhapur Maharashtra. Having received the benefit of traditional instruction in his family during the early years of his childhood he completed school in Kolhapur and collegefrom Pune and Nagpur, specializing in history and economics for his Masters degree. With an eye ono the legal profession he took his LLB from Allahabad University in 1920.But the political ferment in the country against foreign rule had already begun to make a deep impression upon his mind.He chose Nagpur for his legal practice and political work.
Although a nationalist, Ruikar found in the TradeUnion movement not only ample scope for his legal acumen but also the fulfilment of his aspierations in the fight for the upliftment of the downtrodden workers. In 1927 he established the Nagpur Textile Union which was the first to be registered under the Trade Unions Act, !926 in the then Central Provinces and Berar. He went on to form the textile workers in Mansar and Kandri in Ramtek Tehsil as well as organised many other bodies of workers who received their just rights owing to his perseverance and inspired leadership. he was twice elected the President of All India Trade Union Congress, the only central labour organisation at that time.
In the course of his long an dedicated struggle for emancipation of the workers and participation in the freedom struggle, Ruikarwas imprisoned on several occasions, notably after his arrest in connection with the strike of GIP Railway employees in 1930, Model Mill workers strike at Nagpur in 1932, after the fiery speech delivered in the conference of All India Trade Union Congress at Calcutta in 1933 supporting the resolution on freedom for the country, and for his role in the Non-Cooperation and Quit India Movements.
A powerful orator and a man of indomitable spirit, Ruikar also made his mark in the political field. With the Congress till 1938, he later joined the Forward Bloc under the leadership of Netaji and rose to be its president. In 1946 he was elected Member of the Legislative Assembly in the then Central Provinces and Berar, and was instrumental in the enactment of labour legislation of far reaching import.
The Department of Posts is privileged to issue a postage stamp in memory of R.S. Ruikar.