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Geographical Indication: Venkatagiri Sarees get GI Registration

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Geographical Indication: Venkatagiri Sarees get GI Registration

Recently the Registry of Geographical Indications has accorded the Geographical Indication (GI) registration to the famous Venkatagiri Sarees. The application for registration of GI was made by Venkatagiri Handloom Saree Apex Society. This is the 18th textile good getting GI registration in India.

Venkatagiri is a small place in Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh. It is believed that weaving at Venkatagiri first began over 300 years ago and was patronized by the Velugoti dynasty. A group of about 40 weavers were supported by the Velugoti dynasty for the exclusive purpose of weaving dhoti and turbans made of soft cotton, with sophisticated embroidery for the Royal family. Currently, there are about 40,000 inhabitants in Venkatagiri of which about 20,000 are weavers.

Venkatagiri Sarees are essentially made of pure cotton, with elaborate zari work with characteristic colours on them. These sarees are made of pure cotton, and are dyed using vat or Napthol dyes, and the zari woven into it by master weavers using silver and gold zari yarn obtained from Surat in Gujarat. The primarily pattern of the sarees include, a bold ribbon of zari as border, and in the pallu of the sari, with traditional peacock, swan, mango, leaf and gold coin designs interspersed all over the saree. Another specialty of the saree is that bold colours used in the saree doesnot fade away on washing. It is believed that no other variety of cotton saree incorporates the amount of elaborate zari work as in the Venkatagiri Sarees. The method of manufacture of these sarees is unique and elaborate and includes various steps that are unique to the said sarees. Today these Sarees are available in the range of Rs. 300/- to Rs. 15,000/ – to suit the needs and budget of people from all walks of life.

With the registration of GI, Venkatagiri Sarees are now better protected against the counterfeits in the market. The registration, that provides an assurance of authenticity, is expected to boost the export opportunities for the iconic product. As per the GI Act, only a registered proprieter or a registered user can manufacture, sell, offer for sale or export the GI product. Any unauthorized dealing with the registered goods is deemed to be an infringement which exposes the infringer to liability under the Act.

With the registration of Venkatagiri sarees as a GI, it is now open for the weavers and the wholesale and retail dealers to register for authorized user status.

Reference: http://www.ipindia.nic.in/girindia/journal/Journal_37.pdf

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