How jewellers spark change through acts of kindness

A significant section of jewellers believes in the concept of philanthropy, and is actively involved in charitable activities. Supporting charitable causes not only makes for peace of mind and inner happiness, it also enhances the reputation of a brand and positions it as an entity that cares for society, and not just about profits, finds out Suneeta Kaul

Post By : IJ News Service On 23 April 2024 12:33 PM

Contributing to society, giving back to it, enhancing the lives of others, and donating for various causes is increasingly becoming the norm for many corporate entities, and jewellery as an industry is no exception. It might seem paradoxical to connect jewellers with charity, since jewellery is a luxury product, but the nature of the merchandise has not prevented jewellers across the board from being actively involved in philanthropic activities. Be they jewellery manufacturers, designers, or retailers, a significant section of the Indian jewellery industry is involved in charitable activities.

Why they do what they do

Explaining why she supports various charities, Hema Shah, House of Sparsh, “It is vital for jewellers to be actively involved in philanthropic causes in order to enhance their brand reputation, build customer trust, and demonstrate corporate social responsibility. It aligns their business with positive values and fosters community goodwill.

“Moreover, at House of Sparsh, we believe it is important to give back to the world and community that nurtured and empowered us, allowing us to spread our wings of creativity and innovation. I personally believe that in a world where one can be anything, one should be kind and empathetic. Kindness, compassion, empathy – these are values that nurture our soul. There is a lot of joy in giving, and in helping others.”

In a crowded market, demonstrating a commitment to social responsibility can go a long way in differentiating a jewellery company from its competitors. A proven track record of engagement with social causes is a great attraction for socially-conscious customers, particularly the younger ones. But more than just image-building, many in the jewellery industry support charities because they feel strongly about them.

“Anyone who can get involved in philanthropic activities should do so,” declares Shreyance Oswal, Rikhab Das Udai Chand Jewellers, Lucknow, adding “I am just grateful that I am in a position to help others. The satisfaction I get from taking part in a charitable cause is much greater than what I get from selling jewellery. Keeping myself in the shoes of the underprivileged makes me want to help more and more people in need.

“And it’s not just people – I am really moved by the plight of street animals in India. I do what I can for them, but I would really like to do something far more meaningful to improve the life of wounded, sick street animals. Additionally, I am involved in helping those who cannot afford treatment of major diseases, particularly cancer. Besides, I try to extend whatever help I can to old age homes.”

Giving back to society fosters a sense of belonging

For jewellers, participating in charitable activities also provides opportunities of networking with other businesses and community leaders, thus creating a sense of kinship in the broader society. Explains Pavan Mor, Pavan Mor Jewellers, Hyderabad, “I really feel all of society should work together to improve the living conditions of the less fortunate. I am associated with both people and animals when it comes to charitable activities. I support two cow shelters in Hyderabad, and send a fixed amount to them every month. In these shelters, cows are looked after and provided for even after they stop giving milk.

“Additionally, I am involved in the education sector – I donate to five schools, where education is provided free of cost to children. We, at Pavan Mor Jewellers, also provide free milk to 300 children. Sometimes, we charge a nominal amount of Re 1 for one litre of milk. Besides, I am involved in funding cataract operations of poor people. My belief is that God has given us enough, and we should be thankful for it, and give back to society whatever we can and in whichever way we can.”

Then there are those who believe charity begins at home. “I believe the best way to give back to society is to look after our workers and craftsmen,” says Shreyansh Kapoor, Kashi Jewellers, Kanpur. “They are right in front of us, and we can see what their needs are, what will be of help to them. Looking after our staff, ensuring their medical needs are met, the education of their children is taken care of, making sure they have a good life gives me great satisfaction.

“I truly want that my karigars should not face any difficulty in their life. We recently sent our workers on an all-expenses-paid trip to Goa. As many as 200 people went, and I was extremely happy to see them happy! Besides, I also donate to the cause of street animals, as it pains me to see them suffering on the roads. I am happy to send contributions to those who look after them, and care for them,” he adds.

Actively contributing to charitable causes makes some jewellers feel good about their work, and themselves. “I feel blessed to share my blessings with the less fortunate,” says Satinder Jain, Jain Jewellers, Bathinda. “I am thankful for all I have, and I feel it is only right to give to those in need. The causes I am passionate about are welfare of poor women, especially widows and distressed women, orphans, and animals who live on the roads. While I support other causes as well, but these are the ones closest to my heart,” he adds.

Charitable activities enhance brand reputation

The fact that the jewellery industry deals in a luxury product seems to motivate jewellers to be more charitable and giving. Says Jinesh Mehta, Kaamya Jewels, Mumbai, “Jewellery is a product that often comes with a significantly high price tag, which can lead to substantial profits for jewellers. However, it's crucial to recognize the broader impact of this industry on society. While jewellers may be thriving, their craftsmen, and others involved in the production process, may be languishing. It is the duty of jewellers to ensure that they take care of those who work for them.

Engaging in philanthropic causes allows jewellers to give back to the community that supports their business, and to contribute to the well-being of those less fortunate. It also helps build a positive reputation for the brand and fosters a sense of social responsibility. As for me, yes, I am involved in several charitable activities. A lot of who I am is because of the way I have been raised. Whether it is my parents instilling certain values in me, or the influence of Jainism in my life, which believes in karuna (kindness) for all, I have always been encouraged to think beyond myself and care about the welfare of the world.”

Giving brings joy

For some jewellers, giving is a means of feeding their soul.  – they feel happy when they make others happy. Priyanka Chopra, Chopra Sons Jewellers, Ludhiana, is one such jewellery retailer who says, “Spreading happiness truly makes me happy. I like to donate to different causes, and am associated with several NGOs, including Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. I also believe putting a smile on the face of a child is the most beautiful thing one can do.

“I am always happy to provide sweets, clothes, toys, etc, to children of economically-challenged parents. The cause of women is also very close to my heart. I try to reach out to, and help, women in distress, but I know that this will require a more organized effort. Still, I do whatever I can. Besides, I am involved with schools for blind children, as well as the betterment of street animals.” 

Chopra is not the only admirer of Mother Teresa – Shah also quotes her, saying, “As Mother Teresa rightfully said, ‘Charity isn’t about pity, it is about love.’ Helping even in the smallest way makes a big impact. I have been, and still am, associated with various charitable events and activities like donating to various NGOs that provide books, food and medicine to children. I have spent days at orphanages, trying to help teach the children there and bring smiles to their faces.

“My daughter, Ruvee Shah, was the joint secretary of the Rotary Interact Club that organised events such as food donation drives at kidney dialysis centres. I believe in nurturing literacy, and have supported the education of those who weren’t able to afford it several times. Additionally, I have contributed to various plantations and animal welfare programmes to help save and improve the environment.”

In conclusion, many jewellers associate themselves with charitable causes because they feel it is the right thing to do. And while that, in itself, is good enough, investing in charitable activities also helps them build a stronger brand, and create positive long-term relationships with their customers.  

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