Once a product receives a GI tag, no one else can sell it under the same name for an allotted time span.
The renowned Sojat Mehndi of Rajasthan will spread its colours around the globe as it has become the first product of its kind to acquire a Geographical Indication (GI) tag. Covered under one of the laws of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), a GI tag makes a product unique by patenting it. Notably, Mehndi Vyapar Sangh Samiti of Sojat and the Department of Science and Technology of Rajasthan have been listed as the official proprietors of this mehndi.
Diverse uses of mehndi around the world
Once a commodity is equipped with a GI tag, it cannot be sold by another person or company under an identical name for the next 10 years. After the completion of this period, the tag can be renewed.
Not only does mehndi feature as an ethnic and customary tradition in India but it also has a wide market of followers in the Gulf countries. In Mexico and Africa, Mehndi is used for the creation of tattoos whereas it is utilised as a cosmetic dye in the Middle East and North Africa.
In view of its diverse popularity, it is believed that more commodities can be invented by the industrial department for the export of this product. Mugdha Sinha, Secretary of Rajasthan's Department of Science and Technology said, "This tag means a lot for the holistic socio-economic development of Pali. Farmers, small traders and women have a chance to earn more with the production of Sojat Mehndi as its demand is sure to rise in the coming days."
Promoting the 'Made-in-India' initiative
Sojat industries that produce mehndi packets have been staggering for the past few years and this initiative aims to thrust the progress ahead. Not only will the latest recognition help the manufacturing company but it will also aid in boosting the packaging industry, increasing the scope of 'Made-in-India' initiative. Along with promoting women's empowerment, it will help farmers and small traders to develop entrepreneurial skills by manufacturing and marketing mehndi.
While speaking about the difficulties faced to acquire the GI tag, Sinha mentioned that it took about two years for her team to gather all locals as a community and prove the authenticity and link the origin of mehndi to Pali. Now, the Sojat quality has been validated with the GI tag and the logo of two leaves has been approved for the next ten years.
After the current accomplishment, the focus will shift towards research on the herbal nature, medicinal properties and skin-care benefits of the product. Along with the Sojat Mehndi, which is cultivated naturally with rainwater harvesting, GI tags have also been acquired for a range of products from Rajasthan. This includes Bagru Hand Block Printing, Blue Pottery of Jaipur, Kathputlis of Rajasthan, Kota Doria and Sanganeri Hand Block Printing.
-With inputs from IANS.