Kolhapuris: The famous leather chappal get Geographical Indication tag
Geographical Indication tag
The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks has granted the GI tag for Kolhapuris to a large area in Maharashtra and Karnataka, covering four districts in each state.
What the GI tag means is that footwear produced only in these eight districts will qualify to carry the tag of being Kolhapuris.
Producers of footwear in any other part of the country will now be forbidden from using the term Kolhapuris to hawk their ware.
Entry into large market
Joint bid for GI tag
Sanjay Tapase, whose family trades in Kolhapuris, said while Kolhapur has more skilled artisans, Karnataka beats Maharashtra in bulk production of the famed footwear.
A joint bid for GI tag was made by the Sant Rohidas Leather Industries & Charmakar Development Corporation Limited of Maharashtra (LIDCOM) and the Dr Babu Jagjeevan Ram Leather Industries Development Corporation of Karnataka (LIDKAR) in 2009 after a previous bid by Maharashtra was rejected.
Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj (1874-1922) of Kolhapur encouraged its production and 29 tanning centres were opened during his rule in Kolhapur, said the proposal.
Victory for the artisans
"Only authentic and genuine Kolhapuris should be available in stores the worldover," he said.
Benefit for all
"We will open new training institutes to ramp up production. We will now market Kolhapuris aggressively around the world," Abbayya said.