Six college students, working part-time as diamond polishers, have been sacked from a city-based factory after they were reportedly found frying “bhajiyas” during working hours.
The Katargam-based firm, Ramdev Diamonds, has also deducted Rs 5,000 each from their salaries after which the diamond artisans — who used study in college during the day and come to factory in the night — made representations to the Surat Ratnakalaka Vikash Samiti. The Samiti has requested the firm to take them back.
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The incident happened around two weeks ago amid diamond firms laying off workers due to the slump in the industry. The six diamond workers — Kaushik Rawal, Nayan Pandav, Godadara Sagar, Hiren Rawal, Pipaliya Kaushal and Kirit Patel — had reportedly brought ingredients of bhajiyas to the factory and decided to cook it inside the boiler room. However, their act was caught of CCTV cameras.
The boiler rooms usually have gas stoves or other heating devices. Diamonds go through heating process before being cut for more clarity.
The incident came to light when the firm manager sacked the six workers after getting consent from the factory owner, Chhagan Viradia.
While five of them are third-year B Com students, Pipaliya Kaushal is pursuing a diploma course. They were working at the factory for the past one year.
Ratnakalakar Vikash Samithi president Jaysukh Gajera told The Indian Express: “They (Ramdev Diamonds) have assured us that they will call the six diamond polishers back to the work, but after sometime.” The firm owner could not be reached for comment.
Laid off diamond worker Nayan Pandav (21), a resident of Katargam, said: “We all come from humble background. Our mistake was that we did not take permission from the manager to fry bhajiyas. We tried to convince the firm manager and also apologised, but he did not listen to us. We all wanted to take our case to the firm owner, but we were not allowed to meet him. We have worked with our best abilities in the past one year.”
Kaushik Rawal said: “Our salaries range from Rs 13,000 to Rs 14,000. Our parents cannot afford expenses on education as that’s why we are working in Surat, though we all belong to different districts in Saurashtra.”