Mumbai: P. Mangatram Jewellers Pvt. Ltd. one of India’s largest manufacturers of studded fine jewellery, has very closely observed the plight of artisans crafting handmade jewellery in India. This IIJS they showcased a short film depicting the harsh predicament of these artisans. The brand also showcased some much-required solution to address this grave contemporary issue.
Buying fine jewellery may put a smile on a million faces, but there is a dark tale lurking behind this glittering industry. India’s age-old art form of hand crafting jewellery is in grave danger as the industry is slowly losing its skilled hands. Our country is losing one of its oldest art forms. Not just low wages but toxic fumes and difficult working conditions are proving a turn off for the young artisans. People are either falling ill or leaving the job leading to an extreme shortage of accomplished labour in the industry.
One of the biggest reasons for artisans to turn their back to handmade jewellery industry is health problems. Toxic gases, poor working conditions are some of the factors that pave way to multiple diseases and loss of eye-sight.
Very few manufacturers pay labours according to market standards, others just make them slog coupled with difficult work conditions. Besides not providing proper workstations, they are made to sit on floor of a small dingy room with low lighting with no fixed work timings.
Mr. Sanjay Gulabani (Director, P. Mangatram) in a statement has said, “It is the responsibility of the manufacturing community to provide better work conditions to the handmade jewellery artisans. We can protect the heritage of handmade jewellery, one of the oldest art forms in Indian culture by ensuring that the labour is happy. Better work environments foster creativity and dissatisfaction lead to attrition. The manufacturing community needs to ensure a positive work environment such as health camps, well- equipped and properly furnished workspaces etc.”
He further stated, “We provide workers with AC rooms along with proper work stations at our state-of-the-art, fully equipped and furnished manufacturing unit. This helps the labours stay healthy and foster creativity as well. We also plan to conduct health camps to provide free health check-ups to the workers. To encourage women artisans, we have engaged in program to locate distressed women, train them and generate employment for them.”