Saturday 2 May 2020

YES To Geographical Indications; NO To Fake Products #OdishaGI #GIsofIndia

A Geographical Indication (GI) is an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.
GI is an Intellectual Property Right (IPR) that is a community right.
An agricultural, natural or a manufactured cultural product is awarded this GI tag to protect manufacturers/producers, who produce these unique and genuine products. GI products have brand value in the domestic and international markets.

GI tag ensures-
ü  Legal protection 
ü  Brand-awareness
ü  Brand-recall
ü  Research & documentation
ü  Reputation for the region/state
ü  Premium pricing
ü  Additional business with extra demand
ü  Increase in sales and exports
ü  Economic prosperity of producers

We must say YES to GI products, but NO to fake products. 

As the GI products are so popular and much in demand, some traders copy thename of the GI and the  attractive designs. One can find many such fabrics and sarees masquerading as Banaras silk, Kalamkari, Chanderi, Sambalpuri Bandha, Khandua etc. in the market.
The distinctive patterns are copied and "printed" on cotton sarees. Then, such machine-made, fake sarees/fabrics/bedsheets that are not handwoven, are sold at low prices like Rs 350-600 (i.e. about 1/10th to 1/20th of the price), while the original handloom saree price starts from Rs 3500-Rs 7000 depending on the material, whether cotton or silk.

Here is an example- The lady in this photograph is wearing a printed cotton saree that has the copied Bomkai design. Bomkai Saree And Fabrics is a GI. But, those who do not know about this, will not understand.
The brand is "Bharat Vijaya". And this is not the only brand.
This writer has clicked scores of pictures of other GI designs too...
Why should they copy traditional designs of sarees that are GIs and legally protected?

It is terrible to come across such fake products in the market.
They cause loss of income for the weavers.

Another example is of Sambalpuri  Bandha Saree And Fabrics-

GI products are the authentic or original products of a place.
However, there are other me-too fake products that are using and cashing on the GI name.
Though GI certificate prevents unauthorized use of a registered Geographical Indication by others, still there are such fake products that are not made in the geographical area by the Registered Proprietors or Authorised Users and are available in the market.
Unscrupulous traders deal with such copies that bring a bad name to the quality and reputation of a GI product.

How can one know whether the so-called GI product, say a saree, that one has purchased is truly handloom?
Or real silk has been used?

These days sarees are made by power-loom and not handloom, and by using other material that is not silk, and yet passed on to the customer as an authentic handwoven silk saree!
The poor customer pays an exorbitant amount (price is equivalent or more than for an original saree) for an inferior and fake product.

Not everyone knows about the silk test.
Only experts can say which type of thread or loom has been used for weaving.

We may get cheated if we buy from others, who are not recognized as genuine sellers.

Customers must take care not to be cheated. They must source the GI products from the Registered Proprietors And Authorised Users of Geographical Indications. Many of these are government bodies or associations that want to protect the community interests.

You can read more about using and promoting GIs in this post- Zealously Use And Promote Geographical Indications.

Y For - YES
Let us say YES to GI products.

I am writing A-Z posts about the Geographical Indications (GIs) of Odisha #OdishaGI.
GI is a distinctive certificate used to identify a product as originating from a particular region or locality that has specific qualities, reputation or other unique characteristics. GI products are linked with the culture, traditions, history etc. of a geographical location. 
Only when info is shared, people can learn and be aware.
This is my sincere attempt to share information about the GI Tags of Odisha.
You can check out my other GI posts here.
My previous #AToZChallenge posts here.
Let us all use GI products - the "invaluable treasures of incredible India", and encourage our artisans, weavers, and farmers.
Are you aware of the Geographical Indications of India? 
Do you say YES to GI products? If no, will you make a conscious effort to say YES to GI products henceforth? 
Please do share in the comments below.


  1. I have heard about GI. There are so many fake products going around. I think there should be more awareness about GI. But there are many people who are not really bothered about whether the product is genuine or not, but they are focussed only on the price of the product. So, if it's cheap, they don't care if it's genuine or not.

    1. Very rightly said. Consumers get focused on price only and that itself kills heritage because unethical manufacturers and traders are always ready to do jugaad n produce fake copies of everything. To attack at root source is most important and that's why the Govt & administration n law enforcement must take action against these fake producers who are killing the livelihoods of our real weavers who work so hard to produce authentic handwoven items.

    2. GI awareness is now being done by the Govt of India and respective State Govts.
      People are waking up to the need and requirement, and there is a lot of interest especially post Rasagola GI case.

      For people to be bothered about genuine and local products, they must first learn about and know and feel proud about their roots, tradition, heritage and culture.

      Till that happens, they will not take ownership or action.
      We need lots of self-appointed volunteers to ensure availability and implementation.

      Their thoughts have to become expensive too and they must understand the value.
      Then, they will no longer hanker after the cheap.
      Once all feel proud and love own products, they will be #vocalforlocal and #vocal4gi and will be willing to buy/use/gift by paying the right price and perhaps even higher to support, and promote and ensure widespread reach and usage.
      This has to become a mass-movement with involvement of all right from the grassroots to the top level.
      For this, we need- "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas"
      "Har Ghar GI" "Ghar Ghar GI" #HarGharGI #GharGharGI


Your words mean a lot to me.

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