Surat Diamond Crisis : 20k diamond artisans jobless, 22 suicides in four months
The recent suicide of Ashish Balar, a young diamond artisan who had been struggling with unemployment, has shed light on the deepening crisis in the Surat Diamond industry.
Surat : The glittering world of diamonds has turned grim for many artisans in Surat, as unemployment and financial crisis have tragically claimed the lives of 22 diamond artisans over the last four months. The world’s largest diamond cutting and polishing industry, once synonymous with opulence, now faces a dire recession that has left more than 20,000 artisans jobless.
The recent suicide of Ashish Balar, a young diamond artisan who had been struggling with unemployment, has shed light on the deepening crisis in the industry. Balar’s story mirrors that of many others who have succumbed to the overwhelming financial strain. In response, the Diamond Workers Union Gujarat (DWUG) has urgently appealed to Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel for assistance.
DWUG’s letter to the Chief Minister emphasizes the urgent need for a financial lifeline for the struggling artisans and their families. Bhavesh Tank, the vice-president of DWUG, highlighted the dire situation, stating, “More than 20,000 diamond artisans have been rendered jobless, and 22 artisans have committed suicide. The industry is caught in a severe financial crisis due to recession.”
Tank called on the State Government to introduce a comprehensive financial package and a skill development scheme, named “Ratnadeep Yojana,” specifically aimed at supporting the diamond artisan families. This scheme aims to provide both financial assistance and skill development opportunities to prevent further tragic outcomes.
The crisis has shone a spotlight on the diamond industry’s philanthropic image, which often garners attention for its contributions to various social causes. However, the recent events reveal a stark contrast when it comes to taking care of their own workforce.
“If the State Government fails to implement a financial package and Ratnadeep Yojana, then there will be serious consequences in the diamond industry. The unemployed diamond artisans may take to the streets for justice,” warned Tank.