The entire world has shaken up and so is India due to Corona pandemic. This has resulted in complete lockdown almost in 200 countries around the world and India is no exception to this. India has also declared complete lockdown since 25th March 2020.
As our lockdown is extended 4th time now, we understand that life of people will go through radical changes and almost every business will suffer.
As a responsible 101 old association of bullion and jewellery, we immediately swing in to action to help the industry.
The task was not simple as we have offices in 31 states across the country. We immediately called the web meeting to decide on the following point.
1. How to help workers for their daily needs.
2. How to secure business premises of the jewellers.
3. What kind of stimulus package will be needed for the industry. 4. What can be our exit plan from lock down?
5. Preparation of SOP post lockdown.
Immediately, we formed various committees to look after this. What we realised that we need to protect all the people in the supply chain and not only our members. The focus was to save the industry and trade and not only to save our members.
We immediately formed one unit under IBJA as “Jewellers fight Corona (JFC)”. The purpose was to involve entire supply chain affected people and not only bullion dealers and jewellers.
Going further, various committee were formed and assigned various jobs as per the point discussed above.
Our biggest challenge was to help the workers, who were back bone of the industry. Thus, we divided entire workforce in to three categories as under.
a. Karigar employed by jewellery Manufacturer
b. Contractors engaged by the jewellery manufacturer under whom various small workers
C. Small karigars who are neither employed nor working under any contractor.
We immediately went into action and started calling all the manufacturer to ensure that they take care of karigar employed by them. Though task was difficult, almost all big jewellery manufacturers ensured us that they shall ensure minimum basic need of their karigar employed by them.
Secondly, we started calling up big contractors and took an assurance from all the contracts also that they shall also ensure minimum basic need of the karigar working under his contract.
Both this promises resulted in our focus being shifted to small karigars. We took special permission from police authorities and visited few of such places where karigars were staying. We found that most of this small karigars don’t have any money even to buy meals.
We immediately decided that we should distribute ration to them and not ready meal as food habits of all the karigars are not same.
We started involving Bengali karigar association for their verification of small karigar. The Ration were purchased and we started distributing ration and other daily food requirement to them.
Till today we have successfully distributed Ration equivalent to appx 5,00,000 meals in numbers to this karigars only in Mumbai. Various other daily pulses and masala requirement to cook food was also given to them.
The request than started coming even from police and other municipal authorities. We also covered them in in our daily Ration distribution as this authorities have been ensuring cleanings, sanitizing and securing our market.
The meals were distributed not only in Mumbai but nearby areas like Kalyan, Diva, Bhayender, Dombivali, etc where this work force is staying.
Apart from ensuring that no worker sleeps without food, we had a task of ensuring that our jewellers get back all their material which was with the karigars.
Hence, we immediately approached various state authorities including police and municipality and discussed the issue of collection of gold given to karigars by jewellers for manufacturing jewellery, who would otherwise migrate to their natives without handing over gold to jewellers.
We are truly thankful to entire state machinery which permitted karigars and jewellers to travel during lockdown period wherein all jewellers got back their material from the karigars. We could systemically do the entire operation in one single day wherein nearly 4000 jewellers were able to open enter their shops during lockdown with special permission.
We also ensured complete Sanitisation of Zaveri bazaar area. We distributed Sanitisation machine free to each building in Zaveri bazaar area.
We also distributed mask, gloves, tempreture machine and hand sanitisers to most of jewellers.if Zaveri bazaar area.
We ensured that Gold business for commodity exchange and banks and NBFC works as an essential service even during lockdown as per govt order. All gold commodity exchange and bullion banks and NBFC worked in full swings even during lockdown.
IBJA continued to give daily gold prices inspite of lockdown and this helped Government to generate 3000 crore thru sovereign gold bond. Needless to say that these bond were floated as per IBJA rates.
We ensured that entire area of Zaveri bazaar is safe and secured even during lockout. For which we got special permission from police department and BMC to repair and install few more cameras which were installed at Zaveri bazaar.
We also intend to start 24*7 medical facilities soon at Zaveri bazaar for benifit of karigars.
At IBJA, we made more than 3000 more members even during lockout period thru digital mode.
We did various webinar for enhancing the knowledge of industry participant in which not only domestic people but internationally well-known people also participated.
We also arranged for Corona test of many police authorities.
We distributed Mask, Gloves, PPE kits etc to various police and state authorities. We also made payment for hospital buying medical equipments and consumables. We also arranged for transport and rail facility for migrant labourers.