CHITRAL: Rupani Foundation [RF] under USAID's small Grants and Ambassador's Fund Program [SGAFP] launched a two years (2013-2014) technology transfer and skill development in gem sector project in Chitral district of Khyber - Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan.
The objective of the project was to strengthen gem sector by establishing training cum production centers to train 20 Master Trainers each in Chitral and Hunza under the supervision of international and national trainers.
Rupani Foundation has already trained 20 Master Trainers at Gharam Chashma Center in March 2014, said a senior official at RF office Gilgit.
Of 20 Master Trainers, 10 identified as best Master Trainers started a phased wise schedule of training at Gharam Chashma Chitral Center, he added.
Till end of July, 2014, about 50 trainees have received training. They are mostly from villages of Gharam Chashma Union Council. Another batch of 40 trainees is getting training from local Master Trainers. This batch is expected to start their own small and medium gems sector business - both individually or in groups – after completing their advanced gemstone cutting, polishing and beads making training.
To earn their livelihood, the trainees can work anywhere in Pakistan, which will be an act of strengthening gem sector as they are able to add value to rough gemstone.
Rupani Foundation's Gemstone cutting, polishing and beads making training cum production Center situated at Gharam Chashma, Chitral is producing local gemstones, which are being linked with local, regional and national market for sales.
Peshawar being hub of gemstone trading , both RF Master Trainers and trainees can market their products through regional and national market and will be underpinning rural economy, thus bring foreign exchange to local economy.
It is observed that most of the rough gemstone exported from Pakistan are re-imported as polished gemstone with value manifolds, which causes great loss to the exchequer.
Rupani Foundation encourages its skilled workforce to produce value added and finished quality products and then to target it to potential market for exports as well as to fulfill local and national market demand of polished natural gems.
The USAID's Small Grants & Ambassador's Fund Program will enable Rupani Foundation to produce 20 Master Trainers and 100 workforce who will join the gem sector with completion of two years project in Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan and to generate their livelihood by producing quality products with different cuts and shapes as per market trends and demand. RF through its marketing department will develop market linkages to bring steady income by linking these 100 workforce in Chitral with local, regional and national buyers and middlemen.