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GI registration initiative helps craftsmen immensely
21
Aug '09
The Textile Committee and Indian Merchants' Chamber and their more than 170 partners have initiated a project in which initiatives for facilitating protection of products like, Banarasi saris and brocades, Bhadohi carpets, and Appliqué work from Pipili, by registering them for the Geographical Indications (GI), have been undertaken.

GI is a recognized Intellectual Property PR under the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) TRIPS agreement. GI registration provides legal protection to manufacturers and craftsmen and prevents others from duplicating the same or selling under the same names.

This, in turn, enhances income of manufacturers and artisans, as consumers are likely to pay optimum prices for GI registered products which provide an assurance of quality. The Orissa Appliqué and Lucknow Chikan have already received GI registration under the project.

Project partners have held around 50 workshops relating to 20 products in this sector for facilitating GI registration. Activities include awareness-building within the producer, artisan, traders, civil society organizations, government officials and consumers.

The purpose is to propagate the message in regional languages in the media, help them in understanding the documentation work relating to product quality and geography and facilitate filing of the application at the GI registry.

These initiatives have helped in filing GI applications for six products; documentation work for five products is over and documentation work and awareness building, relating to nine items is in progress.

The most important factor in forwarding GI applications has been the involvement of the state governments as time has been spent in creating awareness amongst state government officials to the importance of GI registration for products produced in their respective states.

The project partners are also undertaking studies related to income, sales, employment etc of manufacturers and craftsmen after the GI registration has been received, to understand the impact of the registration.

These studies are clearly indicating a rise in incomes for the stake holders. The project has initiated development of product-specific web-sites in some of the GI products to increase sales and take full benefit from GI registration.

These websites provide details of producers and their items along with which catalogues have also been printed. Efforts are also underway by taking up e-marketing initiatives. All these are expected to go along way in increasing the incomes all the stake holders, whether in producing or distribution.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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