Now,NGOs come to the rescue of diamond polishers

Several NGOs have come forward to help the diamond polishers who are struggling to make ends meet following the shutdown of several units as a result of the global meltdown.

Written by Express News Service | Surat | Published:January 4, 2009 1:20 am

Several NGOs have come forward to help the diamond polishers who are struggling to make ends meet following the shutdown of several units as a result of the global meltdown.

The Vandagam Yuva Sewa Samaj (VYSS),an NGO running social and educational activities in Surat,has come forward to help the people of Vanda village at Sawarkundla taluka in Amreli.

They distributed free kits containing ghee,jaggery,edible oil,wheat,rice and tea to 100 families associated with the diamond industry at a ceremony held at Rachna Society compound in Kapodara.

The cost of each kit is approximately Rs 4,000 and can sustain a family for one month.

The Bapa Sitaram Trust of Surat city has also come forward to help the diamond polishers. The trust members had purchased wheat from the market and sold it at a cheaper rate to the family members of diamond polishers at Nana Varachha in Surat. Over 2,000 families took benefit from the scheme.

Ramesh Vaghasia,a chartered accountant by profession and a member of the Vandagam Yuva Sewa Samaj,said: “We have set example for other donors and slowly many people will come forward to help the diamond polishers of Surat during this crucial period.”

He added: “We took a list of the people of Vanda living in Surat and the work they are associated with. Our committee members conducted a survey in Varachha and found out 100 families who are in need of food and other household items. We talked to Gafur Bilakhiya (industrialist) who belongs to Vandagam and is at present in Vapi. He immediately signed a cheque of Rs 2.5 lakh for the cause. Even our committee members have donated cash for the kits.”

He said they have also undertaken a survey of youths of Vanda in Kapodara and Puna gam,and in the coming days,will deliver free kits to them.

“I request the rich people of Surat city to come forward and help the diamond polishers with food and other household items,” he said.

The city’s diamond polishers have been jobless for the last three months and their situation has turned for the worse as they have failed to get jobs.

Necessity is the mother of invention

NECESSITY is the mother of invention,and this has been proved by eight youths of Katargam. These youths,earlier associated with the diamond industry,have started offering camel cart services for ferrying students from their homes to schools.

The cart is made in such a way that the students can get fresh air and also be seated in a comfortably. The charges are also nominal,Rs 100 per month.

Following the slowdown in the diamond industry,many students have dropped from the school as their parents found it difficult to afford the fees. Keeping this in mind,Sanjay Kanani and his friends recently started the services of a camel cart. Today,the cart carries 45 children from their houses at Dabholi Road and the Amroli area,and drops them off at Ankur Vidhyalay and Gajera School in Katargam.

A good seating arrangement has been made in the cart so that the students can be seated

comfortably and even see the vehicles plying on the road. “The schools start at 12.15 pm and we reach there by 12.05 pm. It takes 45 minutes to reach the school after the first pick-up. The students also enjoy a camel cart ride rather than sit in a small congested autorickshaw,” said Mukesh Sonani.

Sanjay Kanani,a camel cart driver,said several autorickshaw and Maruti van drivers are now against them,as they have started charging a negligible amount from the parents because of the adverse situation in the diamond industry.

He said: “Even the chances of accident are less and students can enjoy and play in the cart. We have made benches in the cart for the safety of the children. The parents have to leave their children on the main road,as the cart cannot enter the narrow streets. We are planning to buy another cart in the next couple of days,as we have received a good response from the school as well as from the parents.”

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