It is a well-known fact that charity runs in the genes of all the noble people involved in the trade and each business house in the diamond industry spends a given percentage of their earnings on charity as a routine. These include running of schools, hospitals, medical camps including eye operation camps for the weaker sections of the society. Other charitable activities are running of orphanages, old age homes, panjrapoles for old and disabled animals. However, it was during 1999, in the aftermath of Kargil War that some trade illuminiaries got together and floated a trust, Gem & Jewellery National Relief Foundation (GJNRF), registered under Mumbai Trust Act, 1950 on 1 August 1999.
Ever since its inception, GJNRF has taken several initiatives to help and better the lives of the victims who suffer as a result of these calamities, besides giving aid and relief to other worthy causes.
As GJNRF entered the 18th year of service to humanity, the foundation has been constantly providing relief to the victims of national calamities since its inception in 1999.
Supporting Kargil War victims: The following assistance was provided to defence personnel and their families in the aftermath of Kargil War of 1999.
- A good sum was donated to create a corpus at defence headquarters in New Delhi for awarding merit-based scholarships to about 1,000 children of defence personnel.
- Computer centres were established in 11 Army schools all over the country.
- Assistance was provided to war widows through various regimental centres.
- Construction of a Diamond AWWA Hostel was undertaken at Kalina, Mumbai. This hostel has a capacity of 96 students and is rated very highly in Army circles. The hostel provides the most modern living conditions over a plot of land covering nearly 20,000 sq. ft.
Providing relief to cyclone-hit Odisha:
When the state of Odisha was hit by a devastating cyclone in the year 2000, the foundation, with the assistance of Bhansali Trust, undertook the following relief measures to provide relief to the victims of the cyclone:
- Distribution of food, clothing, utensils, books, tents and survival necessities.
- Tilling and cultivation of 30,000 acres of land damaged by the cyclone.
- Repairs of school buildings in remote villages.
- Construction of a primary school at Dolapadi in Bhadrak district.
- Construction and furnishing of an orphanage in 22,137 sq. ft area with a capacity of 120 destitute children.
Helping earthquake-affected Gujarat: There was massive destruction of life and property in Gujarat when an earthquake hit the state on 26 January 2001. Immediate relief measures like shelter, food, clothing and necessities were provided to the victims of the earthquake. This was in addition to medical assistance including surgical teams which were flown in from Antwerp, Belgium to provide emergency medical services including major surgery at the site.
In the long term, GJNRF has provided relief and rehabilitation to earthquake-affected people of Gujarat as follows:
Construction of three villages:
a) Diamond Nagar, Amran
- Construction of 510 houses with all infrastructural facilities, including roads, electric and water supply and sewage, etc., in approx. 2,72,735sq. ft area.
- For this project, GJNRF got financial assistance from the Government of Gujarat and Surat Diamond Association.
- The project was successfully completed in February 2003 and inaugurated on 14 March 2003 by Mr Camille Paulus, Governor of the Province of Antwerp, Belgium, in the presence of Dr Vallabhbhai Kathiria, Union Minister of State for HRD.
b) Nutan Chitrod village
- Construction of 604 houses with all infrastructural facilities including roads, electric and water supply, and sewage, etc., in approx. 2,89,805sq. ft area.
- GJNRF received financial assistance from the Government of Gujarat.
- The project was successfully completed in February 2003 and inaugurated on 13 March 2003 by Shri Sundar Singhji Bhandari, Governor of Gujarat, in the presence of Mr Camille Paulus, Governor of the Province of Antwerp.
c) Sahyog Nagar, Bhuj
- A new village was created behind the district collector’s office in Bhuj with 373 houses with all infrastructural facilities including roads, electric and water supply and sewage, etc., in approx. 1,86,500sq. ft area.
- Government of Gujarat provided financial assistance to GJNRF for this project.
- The project was successfully completed in April 2004, and inaugurated on 9 January 2005 by Mr Nicholas Oppenheimer, Chairman, De Beers.
2. Construction of three schools:
a) Sahyog Saraswati Vidyamandir, Gandhidham
- A new school building was constructed in approx. 34,000sq. ft area with a capacity of 1,000 students.
- This modern school was successfully completed during March 2003, and inaugurated on 7 September 2003 by Mr Gordon Gilchrist, Managing Director, Rio Tinto Diamonds.
b) Sahyog Saraswati Vidyamandir, Anjar
- A new school building was constructed in approx. 42,000sq. ft area with a capacity of 1,200 students.
- The construction of this school was successfully completed in March 2003, and inaugurated on 16 October 2003 by Mr Gary Ralfe, Managing Director, Diamond Trading Company.
c) Indrabai Girls’ High School, Bhuj
- A new building was constructed in approx. 60,000sq. ft area at the site of the old school building which got totally destroyed during the earthquake of 2001. The capacity of this school is 3,000 students. Along with the school, they have also built a girls’ hostel with a capacity of 96 students and an auditorium with a seating capacity of 500.
- The construction of the school was successfully completed in June 2003, and inaugurated by Mr Nicky Oppenheimer, Chairman, Diamond Trading Company on 9 January 2005. Sahyog Girls’ Hostel and Sahyog Auditorium were successfully completed in September 2004, and inaugurated by Mrs Strilli Oppenheimer on 9 January 2005.
3. Construction of three hospitals:
a) Sahyog General Hospital, Limbdi
- A new hospital building was constructed with a capacity of 150 beds in approx. 64,000sq. ft area and with the most modern facilities and state-of-the-art equipment.
- Re-construction and retrofitting of RR Hospital and Baluba Maternity Home.
- The old hospital building in approx. 40,000sq. ft area, which was in ruins after the earthquake was reconstructed and retrofitted under GJNRF’s arrangements. The hospital project was successfully completed and inaugurated by Shri Shankarsinghji Vaghela, Union Minister for Textiles, Government of India on 7 January 2005.
b) Sahyog Arogya Kendra, Bhachau
- A community health centre was constructed in approx. 27,000sq. ft area at Bhachau with a capacity of 30 beds and with the most modern facilities and stateof-the-art equipment.
- This community health centre was successfully completed in March 2003, and inaugurated by Mr Gordon Gilchrist, Managing Director, Rio Tinto Diamonds on 6 September 2003, in the presence of Shri IK Jadeja, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Government of Gujarat.
c) Sahyog Arogya Kendra, Rapar
- A community health centre was constructed in approx. 27,000sq. ft area at Rapar with a capacity of thirty beds with the most modern facilities and state-of-theart equipment.
- This community health centre was successfully completed in March 2003, and inaugurated by Mr Gary Ralfe, Managing Director, Diamond Trading Company on 16 October 2003.
In addition, GJNRF provided financial support and assistance to the following projects:
- Shri IJ Mehta Vinaymandir School at Palanpur.
- Juna Sadulka village in Rajkot district.
- Primary schools in Rajkot.
Rehabilitating Tsunami victims: GJNRF contributed towards the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund and provided immediate relief and rehabilitation to the victims of Tsunami tragedy through Shree Banaskantha Palanpur Jain Association, Chennai. They carried out a survey of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, too, but could not provide shelters due to non-availability of ships.
Responding with relief items for flood victims in Mumbai, Surat and Bihar: During the floods in Mumbai, Surat and Bihar in 2005, 2006 and 2008 respectively, GJNRF was quick to respond with relief items like food, mineral water, milk for infants, books, stationery items, etc., for school-going children. The foundation also provided shelters and equipment for workers for them to start working again.
Providing financial assistance to Mumbai bomb blasts victims: The foundation provided financial assistance to the families of the victims of the Mumbai bomb blasts in 2006. GJNRF also provided financial relief to the victims of terror attacks of 26 November 2008 in the city. The foundation provided financial aid when bomb blasts at three places killed 26 people in the city.
Gujarat scholarships during recession: The following help was provided to the needy children and families of unemployed ratna kalakars in Gujarat:
Scholarships were donated from the noble hands of Swami Shri Sachchidanandji at Ahmedabad on 16 March 2009, in the presence of Shri Ketan B Parikh, Chairman, Shri Praveen Shankar Pandya, Managing Trustee and Shri Jitendra K Bhansali, Jt Managing Trustee. The scholarships were given to nearly 35,000 students covering about 1,200 schools all over Gujarat.
Scholarships to 50 students, ration kits comprising wheat, rice and moong dal were provided to each of hundred families through the noble hands of Mr Jean Marc Lieberherr of Rio Tinto Diamonds.
Sewing machines were donated to families of unemployed diamond workers so that they can earn their livelihood. The foundation contributed `500 per machine, and the balance was given as a loan to the respective families from the noble hands of Shri Vallabhbhai Kakadia, MLA, Gujarat.
Providing relief to drought-affected victims in Maharashtra: GJNRF provided relief to the drought-affected victims of Maharashtra for better water storage facilities in the region. The foundation provided heavy duty Backhoe Loader Machines (CAT machine) to the district collector of Wardha for deepening and broadening of rivers and other water resources in the state.
Relief in flood-affected areas of Jammu & Kashmir: The state of Jammu & Kashmir was hit by an unprecedented flood on the night of 6 September 2014, creating a massive destruction. The foundation provided the following relief to the affected people:
- Serving of cooked food immediately after the floods for a week.
- Distribution of woollen blankets.
- Distribution of pherans.
- Supply of normal syringe infusion pumps to GB Pant Children Hospital, Srinagar.
Emergency Medical Centre, Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB): The establishment of BDB Emergency Medical Centre is the latest feather in the cap of GJNRF. The centre is fully equipped to provide emergency medical assistance to workers as well as visitors at concessional rates.
Felicitation of Uri martyrs: A function, ‘Salute to Indian Army’ was held on 20 October 2016, presided by Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Mr Devendra Fadnavis at the iconic Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai when GJNRF presented fixed deposits of a good sum to each of the family of victims of Uri terror attack.
Emergency aid to Kerala flood relief victims: A team of GJNRF visited Kerala to distribute emergency aid to over 3,000 flood victims. Members of the gems and jewellery industry visited six relief camps in the floodhit areas of Kerala and distributed emergency relief materials to over 3,000 people.
Gems & Jewellery National Relief Foundation (GJNRF) Organised a Mega Relief Campaign During Covid-19
The Gems & Jewellery National Relief Foundation (GJNRF), a body set up and generously supported by all the stakeholders of the gem and jewellery industry across India, stepped forward to organise a mega relief campaign during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Working along with the Government of Maharashtra and the BMC authorities, the organisation has been quick to respond to appeals for help, be it from needy citizens, including daily wage workers and migrants, or from institutions like hospitals and the police force that are in the frontlines of the battle against the pandemic.
GJNRF’s contribution during the Covid-19 Pandemic:
- Distribution of 50 tons of food grains in Raigadh District.
- Distribution of Ration kits for 1-2 months to 30,000 artisans, catering to 1.5 lakh people at Palanpur, Visnagar, Surendranagar, Botad, Surat, Dahisar, Malad and Zaveri Bazar.
- Provided food and snacks to 1.5 lakhs migrants at Bandra, Kurla, Vasai, Virar and Surat railway stations and at Raigadh.
- Provided daily meals to 6,000 people for a month as per BMC requirements.
- Distributed 40,000 masks, 25,000 goggles, 22,000 gloves, 25,000 PPE Kits, 21,000 diapers, 24,000 litres sanitizer, 960 Covid testing PCR Kits, 50 Pulse Oxymeters, 50 thermal temp. guns and 5 Face Mask Incinerators to various hospitals and Police stations.
- Donated 8 nos. Dialysis m/cs to Cooper and Dombivli hospital.
- . Donated 10 Airvo portable ventilators HFNC mcs. to Govt. hospitals in Mumbai and Mahavir Hospital, Surat.
- Renovated a wing with 5 special rooms at St. George’s Hospital, the inauguration of which took place in September 2020.
- Creation of a new IT wing at Nagpada police hospital, inaugurated in September 2020.
- Donated two Ambulances, one to the State Government’s 108 service and one to Elizabeth Hospital.
- Donated 3 nos. Intellivue Monitors to Tata Memorial Hospital.
- Donated Total Biochemistry Analysers to Nagpada Police hospital.
- Provided 400 beds to BKC quarantine centre.
- Provided financial support to 1,300 MDMA members.
- 5,000 meals ie. breakfast, lunch and dinner to doctors and nursing staff of Government hospitals.
- Donated 20 High Flow Therapy Machines to Various Hospitals.
- Donated SLE 2000 Infant Ventilator to Alibag Civil Hospital.
“Covid-19 has brought the industry to a standstill and many have been affected due to job losses, financial losses, etc. Fortunately, with the help and support of generous donors, we have been able to reach out to the needy at the right time. I would like to thank each and every member for their support. GJNRF will continue to work towards the welfare of the artisans and society at large till such time the pandemic abates.”Sanjay Kothari, Chairman, GJNRF