The Gem & Jewelley Export Promotion Council continued its CSR initiative “Jewellers For Hope”, this year too with a significant contribution of Rs. 1crore being distributed between Girl Rising; Nanhi Kali and Make a Wish Foundation – three NGOs, reports say. Since the launch of Jewellers For Hope, GJEPC has been organising a gala charity dinner on the sidelines of the IIJS, at which funds collected from the gems and jewellery industry are distributed to two-three deserving NGOs or charitable organisations which are making a difference to society.
The event this year saw an attendance of Smt Amruta Fadnavis – wife of the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra,, who is also herself working towards rural development and women’s empowerment, as per reports. Other dignitaries at the event included Mr. Manoj Dwivedi, Joint Secretary, Dept. of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India; and leading members of the international and national diamond industry, as per reports.
Russell Mehta, Vice Chairman of the GJEPC delivered the welcome address saying jewellery is associated with happy occasions and moments; and gives joy to both the giver and receiver of these precious gifts. He noted that, “We would like to extend this happiness to other sections of society, particularly the less privileged,” he said. He also highlighted that the companies within this sector are engaged individually with CSR initiatives but a collective approach towards philanthropic activities is also required, as with Jewellers For Hope.
GJEPC Chairman Praveenshankar Pandya recounted personal experiences of helping those in need during emergency situations like floods and droughts. He recalled the setting up of the Gem & Jewellery National Relief Foundation (GJNRF) and the work done by the body, reports add. He noted, “What we are doing through Jewellers For Hope is only a small token, a mere gesture,” Pandya said. “The industry as a whole does much, much more. Only recently, one of the Trusts inaugurated a Rs. 500 crore hospital in Surat for example,” as per reports. Further he said that, “It is important to realise that philanthropy is woven into the very fabric of our industry. For, what we have in our hearts is compassion for the poor, compassion for the citizens of this country.” He appealed to the entire industry to come forward to take this work ahead.
Smt Fadnavis applauded the work being done by the industry. Paul Rowley, Executive Vice President Sightholder Sales, De Beers also spoke at the event at which his company was a co-partner. He spoke of woman power in very real terms and the need to support their empowerment. “At De Beers and Forevermark, we have a strong focus on the upliftment of women as we know how important they are to all aspects of our business – as employees, as government partners, as consumers, as community stakeholders, as ambassadors and as inspirations,” Rowley said. “They are a huge part – in fact by far the largest part – of our future success and we see it as a clear priority to improve the prospects of women and girls around the world.”
The event was further made memorable with testimonials by children of NGOs who have benefitted with funds. Also, glitterati made a presence with Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor and singer Rekha Bhardwaj and Mandira Bedi MC.