Noting that many of the challenges in GI are faced after obtaining GI registration, the minister called for the need to build a wider appreciation of the value of GI among all stakeholders, in order for better implementation of the legal provisions. She said this while addressing the inaugural session of the two-day 'National Workshop on Promotion of Unique Textiles and Handicrafts for GI and Post-GI Initiatives', being held under the aegis of the ministry of textiles in New Delhi.
Irani announced that a GI help-desk would soon be set up in every service centre run by the government for weavers and artisans. This would help bridge the information gap between centre and the field, and would assist weavers and artisans in availing the benefits of GI. This is being done to maximise governance, in line with the government's developmental philosophy of 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikaas'.
She also launched a helpline for handicraft artisans. Recalling that the problems of 6,707 weavers have been resolved so far through the Bunkar Mitra helpline for handloom weavers that the Handloom Census has started, and that weavers will be given identity cards at the next National Handloom Day. The minister also observed that the government has decided to give 75 per cent fee subsidy to the children of weavers and artisans of BPL families, for pursuing school education under NIOS and university education from IGNOU.
Irani assured the audience that the points raised during the workshop will be taken up by the Textiles Committee for the consideration of the government. The ministry of textiles would take up issues requiring changes to the legal framework with the ministry of law & justice.
The minister also released a Compendium of Indian Handicrafts & Handlooms covered under GI, which has been compiled by NCDPD, on behalf of ministry of textiles. The compendium contains list and details of all 149 Indian handicrafts and handlooms covered under GI, till April 2017. The compendium also consists of the list of awardees of GI-tagged handicraft and handloom products. This is a unique and first-of-its-kind compilation.
Reports of the Textiles Committee on traditional handwovens of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and Karnataka were also released by Irani. She also handed over GI certificates to three registered proprietors, who are producers of Jamnagari bandhani, Jamnagar, Gujarat; Kuthampully dhoties and Set Mundu, Kerala; Karvath Kati sarees and fabrics, Maharashtra.
Minister of state, textiles, Ajay Tamta said that the more widespread adoption of GI would be highly beneficial to the handicraft and handloom sectors, especially in protecting and preserving the rich cultural heritage associated with them. He said that the workshop is a step in this direction, which would contribute to the social and economic empowerment of handloom weavers and handicraft artisans. The artisan helpline would enable empowerment of the last person on the street, through provision of required information. (KD)
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