CHIKANKARI Work, the intellectual property of the 2.27 lakh women artisans in the city, would soon take the patent route to safeguard its long heritage in the global handicrafts market.
City-based NGO “Network of Entrepreneurship & Economic Development” (NEED)—an organization working for augmenting skills of rural women entrepreneurs has filed an application for getting the art of making Chikan handicrafts patented.
Two years back, some Japanese textile entrepreneurs had tried in vain to copy the Chikankari designs on machines which could not take the twists and turns required to make Chikan embroidery.
“A patent in the hands of women artisans would offer a legal stamp for protecting their Chikan work designs and the method adopted for making Chikan handicrafts from getting copied globally”, NEED chief executive officer (CEO) Anil K Singh said on Wednesday.
He was speaking at a “Design Development Workshop on Hand-Made Paper,” organised by NEED under the national-level project entitled “Project on Strategies and Preparedness for Trade and Globalization in India” initiated jointly by Department for International Development (DFID), UNCTAD and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. “Chikan handicrafts are already being exported to the European markets. The buyers who follow international fair trade practices in the European region are already keen on importing more Chikan handicrafts from the city”, Singh said.
He said NEED had also embarked upon an ambitious project to set up a hand-made paper sheet plant at Mohamadabad. “The Union Ministry of Commerce and UNCTAD are jointly supporting the project with an initial capital outlay of Rs 6 lakhs”, Singh said.
The construction work for the project which is expected to begin in early October 2006 would leverage the skills of thousands of women artisans making a slew of products using handmade paper in the state, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Balwinder Kumar, Secretary, Department of Women & Child Welfare, Govt of UP said NEED would be required to ensure a wider market reach for the hand-made paper and Chikan products prepared by the State’s rural women entrepreneurs both in the domestic and the global market to enable the State Government map out a support plan for training women rural entrepreneurs in the State.
“There is a need for a market push which would ensure sale of handicrafts in exclusive retail outlets of greeting card manufacturers in the country”, he added.