The Indian Gem & Jewellery Industry Strongly Supports Fight Against Covid-19

In wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, almost all countries, including ours, are still grappling with the subsequent second and the third waves of the deadly pandemic. Last year, during the first 45-day lockdown, GJEPC, in an endeavour to manage the situation, contributed Rs.21 crore to PM CARES Fund to support the country’s efforts to combat the pandemic and provide relief measures. The Council also contributed a substantial amount to help the industry’s daily wage workers impacted by Covid-19.

The GJEPC continued its charitable work in the fight against Covid-19 by offering financial assistance (through the Surat Diamond Association) to the SDA-Diamond Hospital & Medical Research Center for purchasing medical equipment for an isolation ward. The financial aid has enabled the hospital to acquire ventilators, ICU beds, and multiparameter patient monitors among other equipment.

In a letter the hospital informed that it had no dedicated ward or equipment to provide healthcare services to the people affected by Covid-19. GJPEC has donated Rs.75,42,378 ($101,085) to the Surat Diamond Association (SDA) to fulfil the requirements of the hospital.

Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, remarked, “Not only was it necessary to look after the people associated with the gem and jewellery industry, it was a collective social responsibility to help our fellow citizens. We were together with our countrymen to fight and survive this pandemic. The funds donated by GJEPC are merely a token of our solidarity with the Government and people of India.”

The GJEPC continued its charitable work in the fight against Covid-19 by offering financial assistance (through the Surat Diamond Association) to the SDA-Diamond Hospital & Medical Research Center (Matrushree Ramuba Tejani & Shantaba Vidiya Hospital for purchasing medical equipment for an isolation ward. The financial aid has enabled the hospital to acquire ventilators, ICU beds, and multi-parameter patient monitors among other equipment.

In June 2020, the Council handed over a cheque of Rs.71 lakh to the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Rajasthan Shri Ashok Gehlot to aid the fight against Covid-19 within the state. The amount, which has been allocated from the Council’s Corporate Social Responsibility Fund, was given to Rajasthan Medicare Relief Society to purchase equipment for Sawai Man Singh Hospital Jaipur, which is one of the important centres taking care of those afflicted by coronavirus.

Donations were also made to the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath. The Council contributed Rs.20 lakh to augment the financial resources of the State Government for the welfare of its people. Similarly, GJEPC contributed to other regions like Eastern, Western and Southern regions of the country.

Here Are Some Work done by Companies and Jewellery Associations

Chennai Jewellers Association (CJA) Vummidi Uday Kumar, President, Chennai Jewellers Association (CJA), and Director, Vummidi Ethiraj and Sons, Exports, stated, “We consider that providing food is the biggest charity. Our company has, in all, provided 250 packets of snacks to hospital staff and corona-affected patients. This, in turn, also gives caterers an opportunity to earn some money as celebratory functions and weddings have not been happening on a large scale. I have been providing monthly provision to 14 of his staff since the last 8 months.” Through CJA, 200 monthly food grains and provision have been given to artisans and 200, to acharis (priests), who have lost their means of income due to the lockdowns.

Coimbatore Jewellers Association B. Sabarinath, President of The Coimbatore Jewellers Association, informed that together with the Coimbatore Jewellery Manufacturers Association, the members raised Rs. 50 lakh last year to help the Covidhit people. “Initially, during the first 45-day lockdown, we distributed about 600 packets of lunch and dinner daily to policemen and frontline workers for over a month as they were stranded without food,” Sabarinath said, adding, “We have so far given away 55,000 packets of food grains and pulses to karigars and family members.” For the migrant Bengali karigars, we coordinated with the Central Government and gave away 9,000 to 10,000 food packets – this exercise was conducted twice. We had hired a marriage hall where the jewellery fraternity personally handed over the food packets.” He also informed that Kalyan Jewellers directly transferred Rs.2,000 per head to around 8,000 to 9,000 Coimbatore workers’ accounts.

The situation is getting out of hand currently, but Sabarinath informed that almost all of the industry people in their region above age 45 have got themselves vaccinated, and he is hopeful that once the vaccinations open up for the population above 18 years, “we will definitely be in a better situation, and things will gradually normalise.” Along with the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation the Coimbatore Jewellery Manufacturers Association and The Coimbatore Jewellers Association intensified their efforts to coax all karigars to get vaccinated on the 26th and the 27th of April. They received registrations from over 500 people at the time of going to press.

Surat Jewellery Manufacturers’ Association (SJMA) The Surat Jewellery Manufacturers’ Association (SJMA) had distributed around 500 grocery kits to its members’ employees. It also distributed around 3,000 masks and sanitiser bottles to migrant workers at Surat Railway Station.

SJMA also organised a Blood Donation Camp with the cooperation of member companies and Lok Samarpan Raktadan Kendra. It managed to collect around 475+ bottles of blood from 450+ donors.

Surat Diamond Association (SDA)

During the pandemic, Surat Diamond Association (SDA) distributed 8,300 food kits (comprising 5kg wheat flour, 3kg rice, 1kg pulse, 1litre edible oil and a soap) valued at a total of Rs.37 lakh. SDA made it possible by multiple representations to the Government of Gujarat to operate state transport buses for artisans at economical rates; Shri Kumar Kanani, Hon’ble Health Minister, Gujarat flagged buses from Surat. SDA also distributed immunity booster health drinks to artisans and their families for a week. It also distributed tea and food packets to on-duty corona warriors and police officials during the lockdown.

Jewellers Association Jaipur (JAS) Jewellers Association Jaipur held a five-day free vaccination camp for its members and spouses.

Ram Sharan Gupta, President, Jewellers Association Jaipur (JAS), said, “Jaipur Jewellers Association has so far spent Rs. 51 lakh, of which Rs. 21 lakh was donated to the Chief Minister’s Covid Relief Fund. The rest of the money has been utilised for several initiatives. We provided more than 3,000 ration packets (sufficient for 15 days for a family of four); provided PPE kits for doctors at the SMS Hospital; one of the Association’s buildings named Janupyogi Bhawan was also made available to doctors when they were on 24-hour Covid duty. Recently, we organised a 5-day free vaccination camp for our members and their spouses. More than 600 people were vaccinated. The follow-up vaccination camp will be organised as per the Government guidelines. The second wave of Covid is virulent and devastating and we will try to do whatever we can to help.”

Sitapura Gems & Jewellers Association Gaurav Jain Mandot, President, Sitapura Gems & Jewellers Association, informed that the Sitapura gems and jewellery industry donated Rs.28 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. “We did a quick survey recently and found that not even 10% of our workers were vaccinated. In order to protect and secure them, we held a Vaccination Camp for a day as the state imposed a curfew. We will continue with the free vaccination for workers once the curfew is lifted.”

Venus Jewel

During the trying times of the pandemic, the Venus Hospital played a pivotal role in providing healthcare services to Covid patients. Total patients treated till date is 4,785 with one of the highest recovery rates. The hospital, opened in 2019, is a 200-bed multispeciality facility and is equipped with ultramodern facilities. “Our goal was to set a benchmark for ethics, quality and service in the healthcare sector,” Sevantibhai Shah, Partner, Venus Jewel. “The entire nation was locked down for many months last year resulting in many helpless people being stranded without employment and food. We dedicated the kitchen of our manufacturing unit to serve the community by providing 50,000+ meals for distribution.”

Moreover, Venus Jewel contributed generously to Government and NGO funds dedicated for Covid Relief with donations of around Rs.40 lakh to: State Chief Minister Fund; Local Municipal Corporation; the Gem and Jewellery National Relief Foundation for assistance to the industry’s affected craftsmen; and the Lodha Foundation for food to the unemployed labour and quarantined patients.

Venus Jewel leadership team are also trustees of various relief organisations, assisting them in the fight against the pandemic, strategically as well as financially. In many instances, partners have also provided help from their personal funds to help the Covid-affected patients and their families.

Kalyan Jewellers

Kalyan Jewellers donated more than Rs.5 crore to Covid-19 relief in the past year through various initiatives. Kalyan Jewellers launched the ‘Goldsmith Relief fund’ for karigars. The fund provided relief material and monetary assistance to the daily wage workers. The company worked closely with various associations such as Jewellery Manufacturers Association, Kerala, Coimbatore Jewellers Association and Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Mumbai.

Talking about the initiative, T.S. Kalyanaraman, Chairman and Managing Director, Kalyan Jewellers, said, “We witnessed an unprecedented global pandemic. The Goldsmith Relief Fund was a humble initiative that we put together to try and bring some semblance of financial relief to the artisans working in our industry.”

The company also set up an oxygen facility at the specially designated Covid ward, which was set up by the Health Department of the Kerala Government, in a public-private partnership model. Kalyan Jewellers was a major contributor to this state Government initiative.

Additionally, as part of Kalyan Jewellers Livelihood Program, the company donated food kits to various relief agencies, hospitals and schools during the lockdown in 2020. Overall, the company spent Rs 5.25 crore to support daily wage workers, from across the country with effective distribution of monetary funds and/or rations and also via donations to State Relief Funds.

Bhima Jewellery

Suhas Rao, Managing Director, Bhima Jewellery, Kochi, recalls, “The nationwide lockdown in India was declared on March 24th by the Central Government, but we remained closed from March 22nd itself as the numbers of cases were increasing in Kerala. In this part of the country, April is one of the peak seasons for buying gold and jewellery. Since the lockdown was totally unexpected, like all other businesses, we, too, faced a huge loss. But we felt that it was the time to stand together and this seemed to be the right time for us to do something in return to all of them. We decided to pay all our 800-strong staff full salary during the lockdown period.

Supporting 800 families was our primary aim. We also decided to give lockdown allowances to almost 700 smiths who are directly associated with us and also extended a helping hand to others through Jewellery Manufacturers Association. We donated Rs. 1 crore to Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund and donated free food kits to the backward and coastal areas of the towns where we have our showrooms. Apart from this, we also donated to various other charitable associations.

Vaibhav Global

Raj Singh, Vice President – Operations, Vaibhav Global, said, “Last year was taxing for businesses across the globe. But as a company we are happy that even in these unprecedented times, we have been able to contribute in a small way to the needy and to our frontline workers. As every year, we have stood our promise of “Delivering Joy” along with sustained business growth to our stakeholders.

Vaibhav Global distributed 90,000+ ration kits to more than 350 schools under its flagship programme “Your Purchase Feeds”. Daily meals and tuition with study materials were provided to about 30 underprivileged children. Singh informed that the company distributed 2,000 masks to police and frontline workers donated masks, shields, food packets, safety equipment across various charities.

“We thank all our employees and customers for contributing to our growth and keeping faith in the organisation. Moreover, 128 company employees voluntarily contributed Rs.2.03 lakh to PM/CM relief fund to fight against Covid-19.”

GRT Jewellers

To be a force of positive change and aid the relief efforts during the pandemic, GRT Jewellers donated Rs. 1.35 crore to various Chief Minister’s Public Relief Funds. In addition, the employees also contributed one day’s salary to Covid relief efforts amounting to Rs.65 lakh. Apart from this, their Jewellery division along with their Hotels division was providing cooked food to around 12,000 people each day during the lockdown period. The clean and hygienic meals were then distributed to several NGOs, law enforcement agencies and various hospital staff.

As a part of its philosophy to help the society in times of need, GRT Jewellers contributed Rs. 25 lakh each to the Chennai-based Adyar Cancer Institute and Sankara Nethralaya Eye Hospital. The donations would be used towards the treatment of the underprivileged.

C. Krishniah Chetty Group Of Jewellers

C Krishniah Chetty Foundation under its banner of C. Krishniah Chetty Group of Jewellers (CKC) contributed to society through its employee engagement program. CKC volunteers engaged in a number of activities such as distribution of cooked meals and dry ration, traffic warden duty, voluntary service as corona warriors, etc.

CKC Volunteers distributed 30,050 meals to the migrant families and needy people in Bengaluru city during the Covid-19 lockdown period starting from 3rd April to 20th May 2020 (48 days). Through a well-structured programme, hot lunches were delivered every day to various sections of society while maintaining social distance and all guidelines of CKC and the Government.

The company distributed 710 dry ration kits consisting of items such as 5kg Rice, 2kg Wheat Atta, 2 Bathing Soaps, 1kg Sunflower Oil, ½ kg Sugar, 1kg Tur Dal, 1kg Salt, 250gm Tea Powder, 100gm Turmeric Powder, and 2kg Onion. The kits were distributed to migrant worker families and CKC Foundation adopted the families of Government school children.

When the first lockdown was declared by the Government in 2020, Hareesh KA, the CSR Representative of the CKC Group of Jewellers, registered himself as a Corona Warrior on the website of The Department of Information and Public Relations and joined hands with Bengaluru city police to perform warrior duties in East division, Bengaluru. His service involved distributing food to needy people, distributing dry ration to migrant families, supporting Bengaluru city police by doing traffic regulation duties and by checking vehicle movements during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

Some 13 CKC Traffic Wardens performed their regulation duties during the Covid-19 lockdown period and spent around 290 hours of their time creating awareness about Covid-19, checking vehicle movement, distributing masks, food and dry ration to the needy and also helped police to keep the city safe and healthy.

C. Krishniah Chetty Group of Jewellers felicitated Corona Warriors at Halasuru War Memorial junction on 16th May 2020. The honourees included Doctors, Nurses, BBMP Workers, Social Workers, Law and Order Police, Traffic Police, Traffic Wardens who worked tirelessly, keeping Bengaluru amongst the lowest affected cities in India.

Laxmi Diamond

3200 food kits provided to the needy people of villages by Gajera Trust and Laxmi Diamond Pvt Ltd for at least 34 days, daily during the novel coronavirus pandemic period in the last year, 2020.

Set up an immediate separate Covid-19 ward with 300-beds at Shantabaa General Hospital, Amreli.

Kiran Gems

“It is our utmost responsibility to support one and all during these testing times. At Kiran, we initiated the Covid-19 awareness digital campaign at the very start of the pandemic and since then we have been striving to provide assistance like food provisions, blood donation camps, etc.” – Kiran Gems

Bhansali Trust

Bhansali Trust carried out several activities during the pandemic which includes the following: Bhansali Trust’s 160-bed multispecialty Gandhi Lincoln hospital at Deesa (Banaskantha) was converted to a full-fledged Covid-19 hospital from April 2020 to Jan 2021. In 2,000 interior villages of Gujarat, Bihar and Assam, Bhansali Trust made sure that the patients of chronic illnesses like high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy, TB, and mental health problems, etc. continue their regular treatment. Their staff provided medicines at their doorstep to prevent any interruption in their treatment.

More than 15,000 ration kits of rice, wheat flour, dal, oil etc. costing Rs.750 were distributed in interiors of Bihar and Gujarat after identifying genuinely needy families. This project was funded by donor friends. Around 9 lakh kgs of vegetables were distributed to poor families in remote villages during the long lockdown. Bhansali Trust distributed 600 Oxygen Concentrators received from a donor friend in the US to various Government and Trust hospitals and Isolation Centres.

SRK Group

SRK Group served around 55 tons of food materials to prevent shortage due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The company came together with Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) to aid in the preparation of grocery kits for the less privileged to tackle food shortages due to the ongoing virus outbreak. The kits consisted of pulses, beans, vegetables, cooking oil, wheat flour, rice, etc. In addition, SRK Group aided in providing food packets to people across various cities in partnership with the Corporation.

Cyclone Relief in Coastal Areas of Maharashtra: The SRK Knowledge Foundation (SRKKF) team visited 40 villages of the cyclone-affected areas of Maharashtra and provided 200 food kits, each of 43 kgs comprising daily essential food items. Along with this, 200 solar lights were also provided to illuminate homes and help charge phone batteries. With this, SRKKF reached homes of over 100 SRK family members working at our various units. The remaining food packets and lights were distributed amongst other needy families.

Financial assistance to kin of deceased personnel: SRK provided financial assistance to the family of deceased SRK personnel. Founder-Chairman, Govindbhai Dholakia along with the senior management team of SRK handed over the cheques to the kin of 14 deceased SRK family members. The 14 SRKians lost their lives to causes such as Covid-19, cancer, heart attack, accidents, etc. in the last two years. The cheque distribution is one of the many initiatives taken by SRK to provide financial stability to the families of deceased.

Quarantine facilities set up at the Santokbaa Medical Centre: Govindbhai Dholakia initiated setting up quarantine facilities for the rural community at the Santokbaa Medical Centre, Lathi. Beds for Isolation purposes for the asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic Covid-19 patients, and oxygen beds were set up. The company also provided mobile Covid testing facilities and free medicines were provided to patients, while a team of on-site doctors and nurses monitored the patients’ vital parameters round the clock.

Rosy Blue

Martin Luther King rightly said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.” These trying times have tested the best of us. There have been heart-wrenching losses and a blanket of grief that somehow seems to have engulfed India and the world.

Therefore, it is now more than ever that we need to collectively give back to our own kind, altruistically and with great intent. The Rosy Blue family, consisting of Rosy Blue Foundation and Rosy Blue Group of Companies, has supported those most in need. We have helped feed the hungry, educate the ones who lost access to learning and assisted some with the right to healthcare facilities during these trying times. Apart from financial support, through our homegrown project ConnectFor we created a way in which people could donate in kind through volunteering to assist many of the non-profits, social enterprises and volunteer-led movements across the country.

Food Donation – The Rosy Blue family provided donations to various organisations and initiatives that were providing cooked meals and ration kits to underprivileged communities. Some of these organisations were Shrimad Rajchandra Sarvamangal Trust, Rotary Club of Bombay Queens Necklace Charitable Trust, ISKON and ANNAM. This helped people when unemployment was at an all-time high during the lockdown period.

Education – Since schools, colleges and educational institutes have been closed for over a year, education of the most vulnerable population of our country almost came to a standstill. The Rosy Blue Foundation supported a ‘Phone Schooling Campaign’ to give students access to digital devices. The Group also supported direct education initiatives during the pandemic. Donations were made to the cause of education during Covid-19.

Healthcare – Donations were made for healthcare support during this health crisis to likes of Masina Hospital.

Miscellaneous – Donations were made to the PM CARES fund, Gem & Jewellery National Relief Fund (GJNRF), the Family Welfare agency for Covid-19 relief efforts.

Connect For Created 3 Specific Programs during the Pandemic:

Virtual Volunteering: ConnectFor started virtual volunteering programmes for individual volunteers and corporates in March 2020. We defined and created virtual volunteering opportunities which would add value to NGOs. These projects included Creating Learning Aids, Beneficiary Interaction, Capacity Building NGOs and DIY activities were the four broad categories of virtual volunteering activities. ConnectFor built a digital content library for NGOs for elearning.

Phone Schooling: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic one of the largest issues faced by our NGOs was access to digital devices to home school their beneficiaries. ConnectFor set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for devices and data packs. The campaign was set up on Ketto and some direct donations were made to RBF. Donations were made to 2 NGOs – Udaan India Foundation and Door Step School for devices/ sim cards and recharge on data packs. 839 devices were donated (majority to students but some to teachers as well). Through this campaign we enabled over 2 lakh hours of teaching.

Webinars for NGOs: ConnectFor launched webinars to engage with Stakeholders virtually. Industry experts from the development sector and CSR space were speakers for the webinars. Webinars consisted of panel discussions, knowledge sessions, skillbuilding sessions or round-table discussions. Through webinars we strengthened our relationship with NGOs, and capacity-built our NGO partners.

Tribe Amrapali

Tribe Amrapali which is sub-brand of internationally renowned luxury Indian brand, will donate its 100% profits from sales received on 18-19-20th May 2021 to Covid Cause, for installing Oxygen Plants in Jaipur Hospitals.

Akanksha Arora, CEO said, “The donation is made to Jaipur Citizen Forum (JCF) which is collecting funds to help during these COVID times. There are multiple things which are being done but the most important is installation of oxygen plants at existing hospitals. They have already gotten a go ahead to install a plant at Jaipuria Hospital and now at RUHS/SMS hospital.”

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