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Politics and Nation

Kolhapuris: The famous leather chappal get Geographical Indication tag

ET Bureau|
Geographical Indication tag
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Geographical Indication tag

Kolhapuris, the sturdy leather chappal that rose from its humble rural origins to occupy the high table of fashion globally, now has a Geographical Indication (GI) 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.

BCCL
Entry into large market
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Entry into large market

The GI tag will open large markets – both domestic and international – to the artisans producing Kolhapuris in Kolhapur, Solapur, Sangli and Satara districts of Maharashtra and Dharwad, Belgaum, Bagalkot and Bijapur districts of Karnataka.

BCCL
Joint bid for GI tag
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Joint bid for GI tag

Artisans in Kolhapur, some of them 4th generation specialists in crafting Kolhapuris, welcomed the news.

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.

BCCL
Modest beginning
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Modest beginning

Brand Kolhapuri came into being only in the beginning of 20th century when the footwear began to be traded in Kolhapur.

Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj (1874-1922) of Kolhapur encouraged its production and 29 tanning centres were opened during his rule in Kolhapur, said the proposal.

BCCL
Victory for the artisans
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Victory for the artisans

Managing Director, LIDCOM, Rajesh Dhabre said the GI tag is a victory for artisans involved in producing Kolhapuris for generations.

"Only authentic and genuine Kolhapuris should be available in stores the worldover," he said.

BCCL
Benefit for all
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Benefit for all

Dhabre’s counterpart at LIDKAR, Prasad Abbayya, said the next step will be to help the craftsmen reap the benefits of GI tag.

"We will open new training institutes to ramp up production. We will now market Kolhapuris aggressively around the world," Abbayya said.

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Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service