Following the coronavirus outbreak, the jewellery sector in the country has come to a standstill. Especially in Maximum City where almost every day there is a spike in Covid-19 cases and deaths. Amid all this, there’s a sigh of relief for 3,000-odd shops in the 150-year-old Zaveri Bazaar (jewellery market) in south Mumbai that has suffered severe losses due to lockdown.
A special permission was given to the Zaveri Bazaar shops on Saturday as they were allowed to open with their shutters down and under full force of police deployment. Nestled between Crawford Market and Mumbadevi, Zaveri Bazaar is also known as a gold buyers’ paradise. It was on 6 May when the Indian Bullion and Jewellers Association LTD asked for permission from police for entering the premises to collect documents at Zaveri Bazar and its nearby areas.
Request letter written by Pravin Kothari accessed by The Daily Guardian reads” “Our members who are in business of bullion and jewellery have suffered as they have been unable to enter shops, offices even to collect cheque book and documents from their offices as they have to square up their trade on exchange which is operating as per govt directive.”
After this, a special permission was given where these shops were given a time slot from morning to evening to avoid rush and follow social distancing. Jewellers not only did security checks of their jewellery but also paid salary to their staff and wages to poor karigars. “It’s been more than a month and a half since our shops were closed due to the lockdown.
Since most of the shops have lockers inside, there is always a threat of robbery and when the shops are closed for consecutive days the risk increases. So, we approached Mumbai Police and demanded special permission,” said Kumar Jain, vice-president of Mumbai Jewellers Association and owner of Umedchnand Tilokchand Zaveri.