By Kabir M Ali
Bollywood celebrity actor and Ishqzade fame Arjun Kapoor, represented Girl Rising an NGO who works towards empowering and education of girl child from the under privileged families. Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), in association with De Beers, recently organized the third edition of the ‘Jewellers for Hope’, a gala charity dinner with an aim to collaboratively contribute for the upliftment of downtrodden and support the needy. Along with Arjun Kapoor, Smt. Amruta Devendra Fadnavis also graced the occasion. This year the proceeds were given to Girl Rising, Nanhi Kali NGOs working for the empowerment of Girl Child and Make a Wish Foundation, an NGO playing an integral role by granting the most cherished wish of Children living with life threatening illnesses hailing from socio economically backward society. Cheques amounting to Rs. 1 crore were presented to three NGOs – with Rs. 33 lakhs each to Girl Rising and Make a Wish and Rs. 35 lakhs to Nanhi Kali Foundation. Noted singer Rekha Bhardwaj regaled audiences with a soul-stirring live performance. The event was hosted by the inimitable Mandira Bedi.
Mr. Manoj Dwivedi, Joint Secretary, Dept. of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt of India and many other prominent personalities from the gems & jewellery sector attended the event. Mr. Praveenshankar Pandya, Chairman, GJEPC, says, “CSR is the fabric of the gems & jewellery industry to help those in need and share happiness and we want to take it one step further to focus on collaborative social responsibility. The gem & jewellery industry has been involved in large-scale philanthropic and charitable activities particularly in the field of education and health long before CSR became mandatory. This year, our industry has collectively come together through Jewellers for Hope in association with De Beers to fund three leading NGOs – Nanhi Kali and Girl Rising devoted to empowerment of the girl child; and Make a Wish dedicated to granting the most cherished wish of children between 5-15 years. Giving Back to the Society will make a big difference and transform the lives of many. I am overwhelmed by the contribution by the industry donors and convey gratitude to De Beers, whose support made this event successful.”
Mr. Paul Rowley, Executive Vice President, Global Sightholder Sales, De Beers Group, said, “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. 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.”
Mr. Russell Mehta, Vice Chairman, GJEPC, said, “Purchasing Jewellery is a joyous occasion in itself and the gem & jewellery industry serves joy and happiness with every purchase. CSR is a step further in spreading happiness in the lives of people but more importantly through Jewellers for Hope, we focus on Collaborative Social Responsibility rather than corporate social responsibility. Consolidated efforts will give an impetus to the magnification of the impact of each one who takes up the challenge of making a difference. Jewellery industry has a heart and we are here to spread happiness.”
About GJEPC: The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) was set up by the Ministry of Commerce and industry, Government of India (GoI) in 1966. It was one of several Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) launched by the Indian Government, to boost the country’s export thrust, when India’s post-Independence economy began making forays in the international markets. Since 1998, the GJEPC has been granted autonomous status. The GJEPC is the apex body of the gems & jewellery industry and today it represents over 6,000 exporters in the sector. With headquarters in Mumbai, the GJEPC has Regional Offices in New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Surat and Jaipur, all of which are major centres for the industry. It thus has a wide reach and is able to have a closer interaction with members to serve them in a direct and more meaningful manner. Over the past decades, the GJEPC has emerged as one of the most active EPCs, and has continuously strived to both expand its reach and depth in its promotional activities as well as widen and increase services to its members.