Sarbeswara Sahoo 1 Assistant Professor (Economics) Mahatma Gandhi Labour Institute Ahmedabad
Diamonds may be forever, but apparently Diamond buyers are more Fickle
Gujarat is one of the most economically progressive provinces of the Indian Sub-Continent. Diamond Industry and the Diamond Workers have played a significant role in the high economic growth estimated at 12% SGDP per annum.It is estimated that Surat city alone employs 4.5 Lakhs in the diamond industry and roughly around 1 million people work in the diamond industry. Rough and cut diamonds worth of $43 Bn are imported from Antwerp to Surat and other cities of Saurastra region of the Gujarat State and are polished here and again export to countries like US and other European countries. On the onslaught of Global recession especially in the US the fate of million of these workers became uncertain who lived a dignified life .The plight of the workers were reported in the media and even the film industries captured the woe of the life of the workers. Most of the diamond units closed in the mid of 2008 and virtually the whole diamond industries closed down during the early 2009 .Workers migrated back to their village and fall back upon cultivation and other non-farm activities like weaving, vegetable vending, sewing and stitiching,embroidery and so on. Interestingly the workers cope with the changed situation by taking up alternative employment. Keeping the grim situation of the workers, present paper would try to understand the impact of Global Recession on the livelihood of the Diamond workers through a primary field study of Saurastra and South Gujarat. The study will also try to find out means of coping strategy of the workers and impact of employment guarantee and other social safety measures initiated by the Government. In any case recession reoccurs; what precautions the diamantaries, the... [continues]
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