New Delhi: Banarasi sarees -- famous for
their fine quality and elaborate patterns woven in silk and
gold -- have now joined the club of many protected goods that
includes Tirupati Laddu and Darjeeling Tea as it has received
a Geographical Indication (GI) status by the government.
The Chennai-based Geographical Indication Registry, the
competent authority under Government of India, has issued the
GI certificate for `Banaras Brocades and Sarees` this month.
After the grant of GI tag, no saree or brocade made
outside the six identified districts of Uttar Pradesh can be
legally sold under the name of Banaras Saree and Brocade.
GI tag would help genuine producers to legally counter
increasing threats from sarees produced in other regions and
countries, but sold in India under the tag of Banaras saree.
The application for GI registration of these products was
filed by Banaras Bunkar Samiti, Human Welfare Association and
six other organizations in July, 2007.
"GI certificate for Banaras saree and brocade can become
an effective tool for economic empowerment of the weaver
community," UNCTAD India`s Deputy Project Coordinator Abhijit
UNCTAD and its partners have worked closely with weavers
in Banaras and facilitated the process of GI registration.
"We dedicate this recognition to millions of weavers of
UP, who are engaged in production of products," Rajani Kant,
Director of Human Welfare Association, one of the applicants,
GI tag for Banarasi saree would help the weavers of the
region to commercially leverage for enhancing their incomes.
GI is an Intellectual Property Right which identifies a
good as originating in a certain region where a given quality,
or reputation of the product is essentially attributable to
its geographical origin.
The GI certificate not only recognises the uniqueness and
distinct identity of Banaras sarees, but also of related
products such as silk brocades, dress material, bed and table.
The products are manufactured in the traditional manner
by weavers in Varanasi, Azamgarh, Chandauli, Jaunpur, Mirzapur
and Sant Ravi Dass Nagar (Bhadohi).
"At present, sarees produced in Bhagalpur (Bihar), Surat
and Bangalore are also sold as Banarasi sarees.I hope this can
be stopped once we get the tag," Rajni Kant added.