PM promoting Varanasi GI products augurs well for the region: Expert
Banarasi paan, shehnai and eight other products of the region are in line for GI tags, claims GI expert Rajnikant
Prime Minister Narendra Modi promoting Varanasi’s handicraft items, having GI (Geographical Indication) tags, during his foreign visits augurs well for the craftsmen of the region, said GI expert Rajnikant.
Recently, PM Modi, who represents the Varanasi constituency, during his visit to the G7 summit, gifted GI products, including Banarasi Gulabi Meenakari and wood carving, to the foreign dignitaries.
“PM Modi promoting the GI products at the international level has given these products wide publicity. Surely this will have a positive impact on the industry and craftsmen of the region,” Rajnikant added.
A Padma awardee Rajnikant said soon, eight more items, including Banarasi paan, shehnai, tabla, Ramnagar bhanta (Brinjal grown in Ramnagar area of Varanasi), Karonda (A fruit that grows in abundance in Chiraigaon area of Varanasi), Lal Peda (a sweet dish), Langda Aam (mango variety grown around Varanasi) and Adamchini rice will have GI tags.
“Separate applications for GI registration of these eight new items have been filed in the last two years, and the process has already started,” he added. GI is a sign or label that identifies a product’s location, area, town and country of origin.
Rajnikant played a crucial role in getting GI tags for over 15 handloom and handicraft products made in Varanasi and adjoining districts.
Some of the 15 handloom and handicraft items, having the GI tag, include Banaras Brocade and Banarasi Saree, wooden toys, metal repoussé craft items, soft stone Jali craft, Gulabi Meenakari, hand block print, wood carving and glass beads produced by local craftsmen living in different areas of Varanasi.
“Kashi, the oldest living city in the world, will be a hub of GI products. It will have the world’s highest number of GIs from one geographical region,” Rajnikant claimed.
Nearly 20 lakh people, including craftsmen, are engaged in producing these GI items. These crafts are a source of livelihood for the artisans and craftsmen, Rajnikant added.
Rajanikant has facilitated 126 applications for GI registration for various products from more than 16 states and UTs. These include products and items from Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Tripura, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Jharkhand, Odisha, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh. He also has the credit of filing the highest number of GI applications from UP in the last two years.