Srinagar : The Department of Handicrafts and Handloom Kashmir has initiated a widespread publicity in promoting the GI tagged crafts through print and digital media, moreover, all the major airports were used to as a platform to spread awareness, far and wide.
The results are evident as can be ascertained by the fact that 6500 Pashmina Shawls were GI labeled alone in the year 2021-22 against the labeling of 4500 Pashmina Shawls since the inception in year 2013-14 marking an exponential increase of 1156% over an average annual rate.
The Directorate has introduced the QR based labeling for Hand-Knot Carpets and the same mechanism has been extended to labeling of Pashmina Shawls thereby enabling the system to be in tune to the dynamic technological ecosystem. Just in the initial three months of labeling Hand-Knot Carpets, the department has received 1000 samples for GI labeling of which 710 have been successfully labeled and the rest are under process signaling a good response from the local concerned community.
The Directorate has envisaged to induct the tagging method to ascertain the goods are genuine handmade. A step in this direction is the introduction of Hologram based labeling for crafts like Copper, etc. while for others like Chain-Stitch, the QR based labeling would also be introduced in due course of time. This would in the long run safeguard the interests of the potential buyers and would be pivotal in curbing the counterfeit handicraft items.
The Department of Handicrafts and Handloom is in a meticulous process of giving a renewed thrust to use of GI tag for promotion of unique handicrafts products with high commercial potential in the global markets.
With this intent, a series of tireless campaigns have been conducted over the past one year to enhance the export opportunities in the sector. Having seven crafts already registered under GI, a new life has been infused in the process of registering products under GI during the last one year. Products like Namda, Shikara and Waguv are also under process of bringing under the ambit of GI tag. The Dossier in respect of these three crafts stands submitted with the Geographical Indications Registry.
As a home to extreme diversity, the Kashmir handicrafts have overshadowed all other handicrafts throughout the country. These handmade crafts depict our culture, their exclusive proprietary processes, unique key ingredients, and the enduring tradition that has been followed for centuries.
During the last year, people have come across advertisements proclaiming unique Geographical Indication (GI) tags of Kashmir Handicrafts. It is a unique way to encourage the local community and bring them their due respect.
At present, there are seven crafts from Kashmir which have been granted their respective GI tags. The GI tags have evolved over time to protect indigenous knowledge in the handicrafts sector to help localize economic control, promote rural socio-economic development and assure higher economic returns. The proponents of GI regard it as a strong tool for protecting property rights, offering new export opportunities in these sectors.