Starkie kicks off Indian initiative

The Eastern Daily Press is helping a struggling Indian jewellery business by buying its goods and selling them in this country.

The paper’s deputy editor James Ruddy came up with the idea when business editor Chris Starkie was planning to visit Bangalore to cover a story about call centres. Ruddy thought it an ideal opportunity for Starkie to find a business that the paper could help.

Starkie bought £200 worth of handmade jewellery from family-owned business Ashwari, which he brought back to the UK to be sold for three times the amount at Jarrold, a jeweller in Norfolk.

The £200 spent by the Eastern Daily Press is the equivalent of a week’s takings in the shop. The paper’s initiative will give one of the owners of the business, 17-year-old Gyanashwari, the chance to develop an export business which had previously been prevented by red tape.

At the same time some of the profits will go to one of the only special needs schools in India, Asha Kiran, which Gyanashwari attended as she suffers from dyslexia. The money is equivalent to a teacher’s wages for a month.

If sales are successful Jarrold will consider stocking more of her jewellery with the EDP funding other disadvantaged businesses in the future.

Starkie said: “This would certainly be something we would consider broadening to other businesses.

“Everyone wins, a third-world business has been boosted, a special needs school has benefited, our readers have good quality jewellery to buy, and Jarrolds jewellers has had some good publicity.”

By Sarah Lagan

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