Himachal to promote artefacts in foreign shores


Shimla : Himachal Pradesh will participate in international exhibitions to popularise its artefacts in foreign countries, officials said Saturday.

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“To popularise the handicraft items and establish their market in foreign countries, we have decided to participate in international exhibitions,” H.S. Kingra, managing director of state Handicrafts and Handloom Corporation told IANS.

To begin with, the government has decided to showcase the state’s artefacts in the four-day International Gift Show at Toronto in January and the International Spring Fair in Birmingham in February.

“This is for the first time that the government is marketing handicraft products and handloom items outside the country,” Kingra said.

“Hand-knitted woollens by rural craftsmen like shawls, stoles, mufflers, socks, gloves, pullovers and caps, Kangra paintings, Chamba rumal (handkerchief), Chamba chappals (slippers) and jewellery items would be displayed at the exhibitions,” he said.

The hill state is known for the art of embroidery on the Chamba rumal, as it is known, that originated and flourished in the princely hill state of Chamba (now Chamba district) in the 16th and 17th centuries where the Chamba school of miniature paintings got royal patronage.

The state government has got the Chamba handkerchief, the Kullu shawl and Kangra tea registered under the Geographical Indications (GI) of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, by the Chennai-based Geographical Indications Registry.

According to Kingra, the registration of these items under the GI Act would now help the artisans, producers and others in marketing their original products around the world.

“The GI stamping will also prevent unauthorised production and use of the brand name by any producer outside the geographical regions of Chamba,” he added.

The GI registration is a community patent in which instead of an individual, the entire community of artisans, producers and other stakeholders of a particular area are benefited.