Mumbai: Gem & Jewellery National Relief Foundation (GJNRF), the body that coordinates social intervention by the gem and jewellery industry in India, especially during crisis periods, recently elected its new Board of Trustees for 2023-26.
The members of the Board subsequently elected Praveen Shankar Pandya as the Chairman and Sanjay A. Kothari as Managing Trustee for the three-year term. Arun C. Shah will be the Jt Managing Trustee, Rajesh C. Shah Treasurer and Sailesh S. Mehta Jt Treasurer in the new Board.
Other elected Board members include: Ashish K. Mehta, Ashok. H. Gajera, Ashok K. Bhansali, Bharatkumar A. Kakadiya, Jitendra K. Bhansali, Ramniklal P. Shah, Vijay B. Shah and Vikram M. Mehta.
Newly elected Chairman Praveen Shankar Pandya said, “GJNRF was set up primarily to spearhead relief and rehabilitation efforts during periods of national crisis and social calamities. A lot has been achieved since then and the new committee will aim to take forward and deepen this good work.”
He added, “Particularly during the Covid-19 crisis from 2020-2022, the previous committee did a commendable job in distributing ration kits and food supplies and supporting frontline workers during the first phase. Subsequently, in 2021, the GJNRF took up a mega drive to strengthen medical infrastructure in many districts of Gujarat and Maharashtra. We collected about Rs __ and helped an estimated 10 lakh people during this period. A lot was accomplished thanks to the strong support from members of the G&J industry.”
Incoming Managing Trustee Sanjay Kothari said, “Since its inception in 1999, GJNRF has continuously widened its support base within the industry. In addition to a strong base in the Indian diamond and jewellery export industry, GJNRF has also been supported by large diamond mining companies from across the world, international trade bodies, leading laboratories and others. We also plan to make efforts to reach out to and involve all other segments of the gem and jewellery industry across India in the campaigns we will undertake over the next three years.”
Some of the key relief and rehabilitation campaigns undertaken by GJNRF over the last two decades include aid to families of army and para-military forces killed during the Kargil War (1999) and the Uri massacre (2016); during and after the Odisha Cyclone (1999), the Kutch Earthquake (2001), the Tsunami (2004) as well as floods, drought and other natural disasters in over 10 different states; support to families of diamond artisans at various periods when the industry faced crises; during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as support to government bodies and other private, non-governmental organisations involved in different activities related to education, health, women’s empowerment, environmental protection, and many more.