Arjun Munda, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs inaugurated the Tribes India GI Mahotsav at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) Mussoorie today. Bhaskar Khulbe, Advisor to the Prime Minister of India; Sanjeev Chopra, Director, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA); Pravir Krishna, Managing Director, TRIFED and Padma Dr. Rajni Kant, Advisor, TRIFED Atmanirbhar Bharat project on GI products graced the occasion.
The Tribes India GI Mahotsav – Invaluable Treasures of Incredible India is an exhibition of GI tagged products and more than 40 GI registered proprietors and GI authorised users and tribal artisans are participating and showcasing their region-specific products in this event. The purpose of the GI Mahotsav is to increase the awareness of these products amongst the Officer-Trainees and sensitize them about the rich cultural heritage of India so that they can in-turn formulate policies that safeguard the interest of GI products in their region. Such an event will also provide more marketing opportunities to he registered producers or manufacturers. More than 190 IAS Officer-Trainees and over 30 faculty members of LBSNAA attended this exhibition and appreciated the displayed products.
On the occasion, Munda also inaugurated the 130th Tribes India Showroom and Café of Tribes India at Velridge Building, Near Main Gate LBSNAA, Mussoorie. The showroom will market and promote GI products, high-quality handcrafted designs from different states and organic products. At the café, the finest of coffees from across the country including Arakku coffee from Andhra Pradesh and organic healthy cookies made by tribals can be sampled here. TRIFED jackets made in the traditional geometric Ikat weaving style practised by the weavers from Pochampally were also launched on the occasion.
In the afternoon, there was a lively and engaging session where the eminent dignitaries addressed and briefed the officer trainees. Arjun Munda, addressed the officer trainees and spoke about the importance of such events and how promotion and marketing of GI tagged products will extensively provide an opportunity to market India’s traditions, arts and crafts and show its spectacular heritage. Support from administration will always help in boosting the morale of these producers. Munda also remarked that through these interactions at such events, these officer trainees will gain invaluable insights into real challenges and be more sensitive when they start working in their respective states. Hailing this event as a landmark event for being the first of its kind, Munda also added, “The GI Mahotsav wherein so many tribal artisans and GI authorized sellers are here and exhibiting their products unique to their region is a noteworthy step in implementing the Prime Minister’s vision of Vocal for Local and building an Atmanirbhar Bharat. I congratulate TRIFED and LBSNAA and Ministry of Culture for this unique step.”
During this session, Padma Dr Rajani Kant, Advisor, TRIFED Atmanirbhar Bharat project on GI products also educated the Officer Trainees earlier about the status of GI products across India and the processes required for GI tagging.
Bhaskar Khulbe conveyed his deep appreciation of the unique event and said, “Such initiatives will definitely empower the tribal artisans by giving them a wider exposure and larger markets.”
Pravir Krishna gave a detailed presentation on how TRIFED has been working out strategies for tribal development. In his presentation, he spoke about how GI tagging can help preserve the traditions and heritage of tribal communities and how TRIFED has been putting in place programmes to link these communities with avenue of commerce. He also said “India has a vast legacy of of indigenous products, be it handicrafts, handlooms, and other produce. GI tagging is helpful for the tribal artisans and motivates the marketers to expand their business both nationally & internationally. Keeping this in mind, TRIFED is partnering up with several other departments to promote the cause of GI tagged products, and this latest exhibition is just one such step in this direction.”
On this occasion, it was also announced that TRIFED would be initiating a GI Atmanirbhar Project which will include 50 GI Tagged products that will be marketed by Tribes India. Dr Rajni Kant would be the mentor for this project and he would also help chart the way ahead for 54 potential products that have been just identified and identify more tribal products for getting a GI Tag from across the country.
During the session, Sanjeev Chopra said, “This is the first time that such an exhibition with GI tagged products from across the country has been organized here at LBSNAA. This is a worthwhile initiative and we appreciate it as this will help increase the awareness of the young IAS probationers here. Not only will it sensitize them to the rich cultural heritage of our country, it will also help them take a step in the direction of realizing the Hon’ble PM’s vision of a self-reliant India when they go to the field in their respective cadres.”
During the event, the Officer-Trainees also interacted with the GI registered proprietors, GI authorized users and artisans present at the exhibition and gained an insight into the challenges, issues faced by them and got an overall understanding about the products.
Geographical Indication or GI tagging has acquired even more of an importance over the past few years. Registering a geographical indication and seek protection for specific products produced in a particular geographical region encourages the growers & artisans and motivates the marketers to expand their business both nationally & internationally. Some of the Make in India products include the world-famous Darjeeling tea, Mysore silk, Chanderi saree, Banarasi brocades, Pochampally, varieties of spices, Orissa Patchitra, Worli painting, Araku valley coffee, Kullu shawls, Jaipur blue pottery, Naga Mircha (also known as bhut jolokia) and many more.