Tamil Nadu

Goldsmiths seek nod to resume their business

Goldsmiths want the State government to allow them to open their workshops as they have remained without work for several weeks now.

Nearly 500 shops in Edapalayam, a hub for goldsmiths in the city, have remained closed since last month. “Our orders have already dropped steadily due to the pandemic. Most goldsmiths and silversmiths work for a daily salary of ₹500 to ₹1,000. As the workshops have remained closed for 45 days now, many are struggling to make both ends meet,” said D. Jayagopi, president, Park Town Gold, Silver Ornaments Workers Welfare Association. Workshops had little direct interaction with customers. Many artisans had taken to other businesses like selling vegetables and fruits, he said.

N. Ramachandran, a goldsmith in Edapalayam, said they were managing with little savings and were forced to borrow even for daily needs.

“It may take time to get fresh orders till jewellery shops begin to function. If the government allows us to work, we can take small orders for weddings and other functions. We can earn at least ₹200 or ₹300 a day with orders for thaali, gold rings and other ornaments associated with special occasions,” he said.

Several workshops functioned with only one or two artisans now. Many goldsmiths from West Bengal had returned home without work. Members of the Park Town Gold, Silver Ornaments Workers Welfare Association have submitted representations to the Greater Chennai Corporation seeking permission to open workshops.

“We should be allowed to function like other shops with time restrictions. There are nearly 6,000 acharis functioning out of various areas like Mylapore and Washermenpet in Chennai and the State has about four lakh goldsmiths,” said Mr. Jayagopi.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 10:51:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/goldsmiths-seek-nod-to-resume-their-business/article34843737.ece

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