Celebrating its golden jubilee, the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) recently held a Jewellers for Hope Charity Dinner in association with De Beers as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Although several gemstone and jewellery companies host individual charity programmes, GJEPC’s Jewellers for Hope is the only event where jewellers come together for a common cause, the council said.
GJEPC Chairman Praveenshankar Pandya, De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver and GJEPC Vice Chairman Russell Mehta hosted jewellers, celebrities and prominent personalities at a sit-down dinner in Mumbai. Celebrity Gaurav Kapur served as master of ceremonies. In line with its CSR programme, GJEPC, in association with De Beers, contributed Rs 50 lakh each (about US$75,000) to two NGOs – Swades Foundation (rural empowerment) and Friends of Tribal Society (tribal welfare).
Bollywood actress Dia Mirza represented Swades Foundation along with Ronnie and Zarine Mehta Screwvala, founder trustee, and founder and managing trustee of the said foundation, respectively. Founded by the Zarina Screwvalas, Swades Foundation operates with the single-minded focus of empowering rural India through best practices, modern technology and values.
Dr. Subhash Chandra, chairman of the Essel Group of Companies, noted philanthropist and member of Parliament, also attended the event. Chandra is the global chairman of Ekal Movement comprising all the partner organisations of Ekal Movement, namely Ekal Abhiyan Trust, Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of India, Bharat Lok Shiksha Parishad, Friends of Tribals Society, Ekal Sansthan, SHSS, Arogya Foundation and Gramothan Foundation.
GJEPC’s Pandya said, “Jewellers for Hope showcases the humane aspects of the gems and jewellery sector, which contributes significantly to the country in terms of human capital and key economic indicators. The Jewellers for Hope annual charity dinner signifies GJEPC’s commitment towards the betterment of all sections of society. Through this initiative, GJEPC would like to spread the message that for businesses to be successful, society around it cannot fail. Rural empowerment and tribal welfare are very important for India’s progress. An industry built on trust, an industry involved in numerous social activities, now comes together to create awareness about the gem and jewellery sector’s philanthropic initiatives in India.”
GJEPC also unveiled its 50th anniversary logo at the charity dinner, which coincided with the 33rd edition of GJEPC’s India International Jewellery Show. With the unveiling of the logo, GJEPC said it will launch a series of initiatives to commemorate a significant milestone in its illustrious history.
Underscoring the significance of the Jewellers for Hope initiative, De Beers’ Cleaver said, “De Beers is committed to ensuring that diamonds are transformed into economic wealth, bringing with it lasting improvements in the quality of life and well-being of everyone touched by its businesses. As such, much of what we achieve in this field is delivered through collaborative initiatives, and we are pleased to see our partners sharing our ethos and undertaking their own highly effective initiatives, helping to amplify the great work that is done by the broader diamond industry. Today, we join hands with GJEPC to support Swades Foundation. By aiming to empower one million rural Indians every five years, the Swades Foundation genuinely has the power to transform India, and unlock the huge potential that resides here, as more and more people access greater social and economic opportunity. At De Beers, we call this ‘Building Forever’ as we believe diamonds have the power to catalyse immutable and enduring positive changes in the world.”
Mehta of GJEPC added, “The Jewellers for Hope dinner provides an opportunity for all of us to come under a single roof, talk business and also work together for the enhancement of the society. Most of our trade members are extremely generous and have been associated with various CSR activities at an individual and at a company level; and we applaud the ‘act of giving.’ To commemorate our 50th anniversary, we hope to donate towards worthwhile causes such as rural empowerment and tribal welfare. We are hopeful that the gems and jewellery sector’s philanthropic initiatives will encourage many more members to come forward and support this noble cause.”
Thirty-three leading manufacturers and 260-plus Indian retailers present at the gala dinner have pledged their support to these worthwhile causes, the council said.