Gold artisans walk away as industry loses shine

Gold artisans walk away as industry loses shine

Artisans sit idle at a gold jewellery shop in Amritsar on Monday. Photo: Sunil Kumar

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 6

Thousands of skilled artisans from Bengal and Maharashtra, designing gold jewellery have left for their native places due to a fall in its demand.

A jeweller Ashwani Kumar, alias, Kale Shah stated that apart from traditional Punjabi artisans, skilled workers from Bengal and Maharashtra were involved in jewellery making here. About 10,000 workers from Bengal and nearly 6,000 from Maharashtra were working in local workshops. About 90 per cent of them left for their native places.

Local gold market supplies finished gold jewellery products to Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. Most of these skilled gold ornament makers were employed in various workshops at traditional gold market at Guru Bazaar in the walled city and the Sultanwind road area.

Sheikh Abdullah, a skilled artisan, said he had recently constructed a house in a colony on the Majitha Road Bypass. He said he could not go back as he was completely settled here while his close relatives still reside in Hugli, a town in West Bengal. He had migrated here in 1997. He hoped that the artisans would return before the festival and marriage seasons as the demand would bounce back then.

Satish Chavan, a skilled artisan from Solapur in Maharashtra, said there were about 250 shops and workshops of Marathi people here. Most of them are involved in gold melting business. He added that most of the workers from Maharashtra returned to their native towns and villages due to no work.

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