Banarasi saris get Geographical Indications status

      To prevent imitation of the famed Banarasi saris, known for exquisite embroidery and thread work, the Government has secured it with the Geographical Indications (GI) status. The GI is used on certain products, which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin and indicates unique qualities. The GI has been registered in the name of Banaras with the Geographical Indications Registry office in Chennai. After the GI status no one will be able to imitate, reproduce or sell the Banarasi saris, if artisans in Banaras have not woven it. With the introduction of GI signs, several Banarasi saris weavers believe that it will benefit them. They hope that the technology will protect local artisans. “Now with GI system people won't be able to reproduce our designs and sell them like they used to do earlier. Our products would not sell. Now if people duplicate our products, they will go to jail and our sale will increase,” said Harun, one of the Banarasi sari weaver. “The GI sign is registered at the international and national level. It is associated with the heritage of a place. Banaras handloom is associated with Banaras . We had, for long, demanded this system. Since we have got GI to Banarasi saris, no one can copy them anywhere, nationally or internationally,” said Maqbool Hassan , an exporter. Baijnath, a weaver, said that people have been selling fake items in the name of Banarasi brocade or zari work, and in the process have been destroying the centuries-old art. “It was a bad situation earlier. It has improved now. Earlier, people sold machine made loom as handlooms. It incurred us a lot of loss,” said Baijnath.

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