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World Skills India: Fine Jewellery Making regional finals held in Jaipur

Sixteen-year-old Sanjoy Pramanik, a jewellery artisan from Bangalore has come a long way – not just geographically but for also creating better opportunities for himself. Pramanik comes from a small village in the Hooghly district of West Bengal and never stepped foot outside his village, until one day a close relative introduced him to the jewellery industry of Bangalore. Now he is among the four shortlisted candidates who could represent India in the Fine Jewellery making competition in the World Skills UK, The Skills Show, to be held in Birmingham this November.

 

World Skills India, Finals of regional round of Fine Jewellery Making in Jaipur

World Skills India, Finals of regional round of Fine Jewellery Making in Jaipur

This is the first of its kind opportunity created for India as part of a learning and skill building tour created by the British Council and supported by UKIERI (UK India Education and Research Initiative) in partnership with the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) to participate in the World Skills UK show. “I come from a small village where my father picks beetal leaves for a living and my mother takes care of the house. I do not have any elder siblings who can earn for the family this so I had to find work outside my village, in Bangalore,” says Pramanik, who recently got selected in the Finals of the regional rounds of the World Skills India held in Jaipur between 18-19th September. Pramanik has been in the jewellery industry as an artisan since he was 13 and works with a private jeweller in Bangalore creating bespoke pieces. Earning money was the best incentive for him to drop out of school.

 

 

Ten participants competed in the regional Finals for “Fine Jewellery making” in Jaipur for a chance to represent India in the World Skills show in UK. Like Pramanik many of the participants come from lower-income families and earn a pittance for working long hours in an industry, which is full of untrained workers. Pramanik earns about Rs 4,000 a month, enough to support himself and save a small sum for his family in West Bengal.

Dr Parag K Vyas, Chief jewellery expert, who has been training artisans in his Design Institute in Indore, points out an irony, “Most participants are from West Bengal. Even though they come and represent different regions but they are originally from West Bengal. There is a lot of talent in that State and not enough job avenues for jewellery skills.” Most artisans in this profession are girls because of the fine craftsmanship required in dealing with designing jewellery.

Dr Parag K Vyas, on the screening process for World Skills India:

Asrof Jamal at the Finals in Jaipur

Asrof Jamal at the Finals in Jaipur

Asrof Jamal is also no different from Pramanik. Pramanik and Jamal work in the same jewellery market district in Bangalore, though in different jewellery stores. Jamal, 16, moved to Bangalore leaving behind his parents in West Bengal’s Howrah district 3-4 years ago, in search of better livelihood. “I am paid Rs 8,000 a month for working long hours. I miss home and this competition will offer me the chance to do better for myself in this profession and support my family,” says Jamal, who is also among the shortlisted candidates for the World Skills UK in November. Ultimately two students will be selected after being groomed by Dr Vyas.

 

Dr Parak K Vyas: “People still prefer hand-made jewellery”

Fine jewellery making skills are an important area when it comes to competition standards on the world scale, says Dr Vyas. Every two years the World Skills competition is held, which tests a range of skills including Fine Jewellery Making. The next World Skills competition will be held in October 2017 in Abu Dhabi. Though India has an upper hand when it comes to the wider global skills set, there is still a lot that needs to be done to train artisans employed in the Indian jewellery industry.

World Skills competitions are important for India: Dr Parag Vyas 

External Links:

Watch : A short video on World Skills UK

Read: World Skills India

Post by: Debesh Banerjee
The writer is Senior Manager Arts, Digital, British Council India

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