First there were blood diamonds. In India, there are suicide diamonds (South China Morning Post – July 10, 2018)

https://www.scmp.com/

Investigations spread over a year in the western Indian state of Gujarat found a pattern of suicides – many shrouded in silence – in the industry that cuts and polishes 90 per cent of gems sold globally, with many workers paid per stone

After polishing diamonds destined for luxury stores from New York to Hong Kong for nearly 10 hours in a cramped workshop in western India, Vikram Raujibhai went home, waited for his family to leave, and locked the front door. Raujibhai doused himself in kerosene and lit a match.

His family returned to find the 29-year-old’s charred body, his case the latest in a series among workers with low wages and poor work conditions in India’s booming diamond industry, as uncovered by a Thomson Reuters Foundation investigation.

Investigations spread over a year in the western Indian state of Gujarat found a pattern of suicides – many shrouded in silence – in the industry that cuts and polishes 90 per cent of gems sold globally, with many workers paid per stone.

A few workers in the industry earn fixed wages – some even up to 100,000 Indian rupees (US$1,450) or more a month – but over 80 per cent of the total workforce earn a piece rate of 1 to 25 rupees for each stone they polish and have no social benefits.

Interviews with diamond unit owners, brokers, labour groups, families and the police revealed nine suicides since last November in the city of Surat, a hub for the trade, and the Saurashtra region where the workers are from.

For the rest of this article: https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/south-asia/article/2154680/first-there-were-blood-diamonds-india-there-are-suicide

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