The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has launched the book Jewellers For Hope – With Hearts of Gold, which is a compilation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities undertaken by the gem and jewellery trade in India. It highlights the magnitude of social work collectively undertaken by the gem and jewellery industry for the benefit of society.
The sector accounts for approximately $36 billion in exports and employs over 4.3 million people, thus contributing immensely to the India growth story. Its community outreach spans child education, tribal education, relief and assistance to Army martyrs’ families, animal welfare. The industry collectively and at the individual level, has made significant contributions to other causes like girl child education, sanitation, cancer treatment, the rescue of trafficked children, the provision of artificial limbs to the needy, etc. The industry has also played a crucial role in providing relief to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its initiatives have touched thousands of lives.
GJEPC Chairman, Colin Shah said: ‘Jewellers for Hope — With Hearts of Gold’ is the only known compendium of the philanthropic activities undertaken by our industry for the betterment of society. These noble initiatives conducted in an individual capacity or jointly reveal a little-known and rarely publicised side of the Gem & Jewellery trade. At GJEPC, it was imperative that this expanse of good work that the industry engages in is documented. The book is a humble attempt by Council to chronicle some of these contributions. We hope that these short stories go a long way towards generating more goodwill for the Gem & Jewellery community at large and leave a lasting, positive impression about the industry in the minds of the younger generation.”
“I believe that these initiatives will inspire many more members to emulate the selfless “act of giving” for the betterment of the society. Together we can empower communities and collectively help in nation building”, added Colin Shah.
The GJEPC established the Gem & Jewellery National Relief Foundation (GJNRF) in 1999, to provide relief to the victims affected by natural calamities. Jewellers for Hope, the charity dinner, was yet another initiative by GJEPC, launched in 2014, to mobilise the entire industry from manufacturers, traders to miners and retailers, to raise funds for organisations that are doing exemplary work in the field of education and health, or empowering women and marginalised sections of society. So far, the Jewellers for Hope charity dinner has contributed Rs.5 crore to 11 NGOs.
Swasthya Ratna and Swasthya Kosh are two important GJEPC initiatives that offer quality health care of choice to all gem and jewellery workers. Swasthya Ratna is a group mediclaim scheme for employees of Council member companies, while Swasthya Kosh is a health care fund which pays 75% of the health insurance premiums of the unorganised workforce.
Since its inception, the industry has been carrying out a host of philanthropic activities. The book documents the CSR journey of gem and jewellery exporters and retailers, who have been silently striving towards the betterment of society.
In 2020, the industry was paralysed because of the pandemic lockdowns and subsequent mass migration of workers. The GJEPC allocated a substantial amount to help disadvantaged workers as well as contributed to the PM Cares Fund. In Covid times, the industry has gone above and beyond in an effort to lift marginalised workers out of a dire situation as well as provided relief to entire communities in remote regions.