Reported by: Sadanand Chakrabarti, Consultant IGSSS
Edited by: Communications Team
Varanasi: IGSSS along with partner organisation Human Welfare Association organized a Consultation to advocate for Intellectual Property Rights for handloom and handicraft products.
With over 120 representatives from NGOs, Government Offices,along with artisans and weavers as participants, the Workshop focused on ways to promote and ensure livelihood security for traditional weavers and artisans and to lobby for an Eco-friendly product through detailed discussions on livelihood concerns.
The chief guest Mr.Chiina Raja G. Naidu, Asst. Registrar, IPR of India, Chennai, emphasized on the importance of GI (Geographical Indication) registration for traditional products, which would make the products more popular with the consumers and help enhance income generation thus contributing towards promoting traditional livelihood.
Dr. K.K. Singh, Regional Manager, Joint Development Commissioner, Varanasi region shared that the department of Small Scale Industry is promoting a number of activities related to handicraft artisans with the support of Government of U.P. He also hailed the effort of SAREL network towards raising the issue of setting up a separate Handicraft policy and Handicraft department in the state to help address concerns of traditional weavers.
Mr.Sushil Tiwari, District Development Manager, NABARD, shared that NABARD has provided support towards registration of several handmade products under GI tag. It is a concrete step towards ensuring legal protection for several handmade products. The use of GI may act as a certification that the product is made according to traditional methods and is authentic, which would help draw in the consumer. He further shared that nearly 1.25 lakh artisans are expected to benefit from GI registration and this might also open the door of international market for them.
NABARD is currently involved in providing training supports under their MEDP (Micro Economic Development Project) and SHG (Self Help Group) promotion activities for the handloom and handicraft sectors and offering credit guarantee scheme to support the weavers and artisans to avail credit at low interest rate.
The Deputy Director of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Mr. LB Singh, elaborated on the various schemes for traditional weavers and artisans run by their department in different parts of Uttar Pradesh.
Mr. Sadanand Chakrabarti from IGSSS shared that in the wake of globalization, the traditional art and craft is gradually losing the market as technology is replacing traditional skill. He urged that the artisans need to be provided upgraded training and the Government should ensure market linkages for the traditional handicrafts. He reiterated that the concern of the traditional weavers should be raised at the national level and all stakeholders especially the media should advocate for the rights of the small and traditional artisans and help influence policy in their favour.
The workshop ended with the participants deciding to conduct similar consultation at their respective regions as a concrete step for advocating with the government.