The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC),Mumbai has received over 30,000 forms from different parts of Gujarat for the education aid to the children of diamond polishers.
GJEPC chairman Vasant Mehta,who was one of the invitees at the International Exhibition of Gem and Jewellery,Sparkle 2008,in Surat last December,had announced that the council would donate Rs 50 lakh from the Gem and Jewellery National Relief Fund (GJNRF) for the education of these children.
The step assumes significance as scores of diamond polishers have been rendered jobless in the last few months in the wake of the global financial crisis. While some workers have committed suicide,many others have taken their chidren off the school rolls following their inability to pay the fees. Also,a large number of polishers,who worked in Surat,has gone back to their native villages.
The GJEPC had sent several forms from its Mumbai office to the diamond associations in Surat,Navsari,Amreli,Bhavnagar and Ahmedabad,among others. The beneficiaries had filled up the forms with all the details and posted the same to the GJEPC office and the concerned diamond association office.
The process of receiving the forms concluded a couple of days ago and now the GJEPC members are storing the data in computers. The members were surprised to see that the number of forms had crossed the 30,000 mark.
Praveen Pandya,the chairman of GJNRF,said: We know that Rs 50 lakh is insufficient. We are convening meetings with the Gujarati businessmen in Mumbai for funds. Each and every member of GJEPC is involved in gathering the funds through their sources and we are hopeful that the amount will reach the crore mark.
Surat Diamond Association vice-president Dinesh Navadia said the GJEPC members will verify the details of the students with the schools and hand over the cheque to the respective schools.
It will take some time to donate the money because they have to gather more funds as the beneficiaries have increased. We are in regular contacts with the GJEPC in Mumbai and helping them in their work, Navadia added.