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GI registration of banarasi silk to help save 250,000 jobs

22
Sep '09
Shri Pradeep Gupta, Secretary, Textiles Committee
The Banaras Brocades and Sarees known for their intricate designs have now been protected under Geographical Indication Act 1999 of India facilitated by the Textiles Committee, a statutory body under the Ministry of Textiles.

Shri Pradeep Gupta, Secretary, Textiles Committee has informed that the much needed GI registration will safeguard the interest of the artisans of the Banaras Brocades and Sarees against infringement and hence protect the livelihood of about 2.50 lakh weavers associated with these exquisite handloom products.

These traditional treasures of the country have always been subjected to infringement by the domestic producers as well as from imports. The premium price and the market share associated with these popular products have been siphoned away by infringement.

The GI protection provided through the registration has not only recognized its uniqueness and distinctive style of its own, but also will cherish the growth of the product in Indian as well as export market.

The skillful hands of the Banarasi weavers not only produce Brocades and Sarees, they also create amazing products of dress materials, bed linens and home textiles.

A conglomerate of more than 2.5 lakh weavers have been involved in the production of these traditional treasures in the Varanasi, Mirzapur, Chandauli, Sant Ravidas Nagar, Bhadoi, Jaunpur and Azamgarh.

The application seeking GI registration of these products was filed by Government of Uttar Pradesh along with Banaras Bunkar Samiti, Human Welfare Association and six other producers/trade associations on 4th July, 2007.

The technical and hand holding support was extended to the applicants by the Textiles Committee, a Government of India Organisation besides financial support from the UNCTAD India project.

The Ministry of Textiles has been instrumental to create awareness on this important aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and synergized with the state governments for facilitation of the GI.

It confers legal protection to the traditional knowledge based community producers, which will help them to contain infringement and save their market share so as to help the economically backward skilled artisans to generate a better income.

The Textiles Committee, a statutory body under the government has spearheaded the awareness building campaign, disseminates information on GI to the grassroots and also facilitates registration of unique textile products of the country through a network of partners.

Out of 25 products facilitated so far by the Textiles Committee, 7 have been registered, 10 applications filed and rest 8 are in different stages of facilitation.

Before filing the application, the Committee organises comprehensive study and documentation process of the product covering the history, origin, geographical area of production, production process and uniqueness of the product for which the product has received its eminence.


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