Mahesh Patel, 41, has been cutting and polishing diamonds for nearly two decades for various companies in the city of Surat, one of the world’s largest polishing hubs in India’s western Gujarat state.
His years of experience and keen eye for detail used to bring him a decent income working in crowded markets of Surat’s Mahidharpura region.
But the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia has left Patel and thousands of his peers without work or with just minimal working hours. The local diamond industry sources most of its rough stones from Russia, and as they become less available, diamond factories face a growing crisis.
“The short supply of diamonds has led many factory owners to lay off workers. We have been hit hard and work is hard to come by. Small diamond units have shut…