A group of diamond traders from the USA and Surat have joined hands to help diamond polishers who have lost jobs due to a recession of sorts in the diamond cutting and polishing industry in Surat.
Around 5 lakh diamond polishers work in 3,500 small, medium and large diamond factories in Surat city, out of which around 7,000 have been laid off as many factories had to reduce their production.
The businessmen have also formed Diamond Industry Career Foundation (DICF) recently to seek help for the out-of-job workers. They have also supplied food grain kits to the families that should take care of their requirement for the next six months.
The diamond industry is going through a rough patch across the globe. According to the data from the Gem and Jewellery Exports Promotion Council, the overall import of rough diamonds in 2019 was Rs 71,524 crore, which is a decline of 16 per cent from 2018 when the figure was Rs 83,807 crore. On the other hand, exports in 2019 fell by 17.89 per cent to Rs 1.03 lakh crore, from Rs 1.24 lakh crore in 2018.
DICF founder member Nilesh Bodki said, “Many of the workers who do not have jobs at present have school-going children at home. But they don’t have money to pay school fees. We have approached Dinesh Navadiya, chairman of Gujarat region of the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, for funding the school fees of such students. We have provided them with a list consisting names of 100 such children of diamond polishers. He has assured us that something will be done.”
“We have also created a WhatsApp group wherein majority of the diamond factory owners are registered. These owners have been urged to put up job notice in the groups for polishers. Already one such owner has put requirement for 100 diamond artisans,” Bodki added.
Navadia said, “The reason behind the fall in imports and exports is due to the global slowdown. We hope that the industry regains its momentum this year.”
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