KOLKATA: A body of jewellery artisans in West Bengal on Monday demanded creation of a database of workers involved in the sector so that they can avail benefits of the state government's health insurance and other welfare schemes.
Around 15 lakh artisans are associated with the gold jewellery industry in the state and 30 lakh more Bengali craftsmen are working in other parts of the country but the government does not have any database for such labourers, it said.
"We are not getting benefits of the state government's health insurance and other social schemes and don't even get proper wages," West Bengal Jewellery Artisan Workers' Union secretary Ranjan Das said in a statement.
He said the association is fighting for fair wages, decent living, dignity of labourers and social security.
"We urge the state government to prepare a database of workers engaged in the sector and issue identity cards," he said.
Most of the jewellery artisans in the country are from Bengal, and they travel to other states in search of better opportunities, the association claimed.
"Eighty per cent of those involved in the profession are suffering from financial problems and the Covid-19 pandemic has made things worse," Das said.