Jewellery manufacturers here have mooted identity cards for migrant workers employed in the gold smithies in the city.
B. Muthu Venkatram, President of Coimbatore Jewellery Manufacturers' Association, told The Hindu that about 10 per cent of the goldsmiths and workers in these units were from West Bengal.
Though they had been working in the sector here for about nine years now, the number increased during the last four years and was all set to go up in the coming years.
Most of these goldsmiths were living in groups here. “We do not know their language or where exactly they come from. It becomes very difficult to contact their family or friends in West Bengal when there is a need,” explained Mr. Muthu Venkatram.
Hence, the association had collected details of the migrant goldsmiths and workers when they were employed in a unit. They gave the employers a copy of a document of their identity, such as family card, their photograph and details about their family, birth place and contact address.
The association had collected about 5,000 applications so far.
“We had requested the police to issue identity cards to them. It would be helpful if they were recognised by the police,” he said.
The association was also trying to computerise the data so that it was centralised.
Mr. Muthu Venkatram said Kolkatta and Mumbai were major jewellery hubs in the country.
Hence, workers who came from West Bengal already had the required skills in jewellery making.
The designs that they were able to make were different from what the local people were able to. With the jewellery sector here growing, the number of workers from West Bengal was also expected to go up in the future.
City Police Commissioner C. Sylendra Babu welcomed the idea and said it would serve several purposes besides bringing in accountability. The police would go ahead with the concept.
They would verify the veracity of the particulars provided by the applicants by getting in touch with the police in the workers' home town.
The city police would also check for the antecedents of the goldsmiths and workers. While investigating cases relating to any crime in the units or elsewhere, the identity cards would help in verifying whether these people were involved, he added.