While “Vocal for Local” and “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” movements have gained the much desired focus due to the challenges thrown by COVID-19 pandemic, the national nodal agency TRIFED, in the meanwhile, has been working comprehensively to support market and promote indigenous products manufactured by tribal groups since centuries.
These include handlooms, handicrafts and various other products and in due course GI tagging has gained enough prominence. It is through TRIFED, the ministry of tribal affairs with support the support of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Institute of Academy, besides, ministry of commerce, department of promotion of industry and internal trade, Indian posts as well as ministry of tourism and office of the Prime Minister set to take up the promotion of GI Tag products simultaneously with tribal products which transform them into a brand. It further symbolizes empowerment of tribal artisans. All these initiatives at the same time, help promote and recognize age-old methods and traditions that are facing the danger of being lost amid urbanization and increasing industrialization due to this.
TRIFED has, in consultation with culture ministry, identified eight heritage locations all throughout the country, where Tribes India stores which are GI specific are planned to be set up. Among these heritage locations, already the work is expected to be commenced shortly across, Hampi, Karnataka, Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh and Golconda Fort in Telengana. Already it has been planned in collaboration with culture ministry to develop an exclusive designer’s lab at RED Fort of Delhi. Here the tribal artisans will be giving live demonstrations of their craft traditions.
Known for its fine Ikat fabric, Pochampally located in Andhra Pradesh has been chosen as the second venue where a designer’s hub is planned to be developed and the its initial work is already under process. Apart from the live demonstration centre, the city is proposed to be set up as a textile hub. Commenced in 2017, the Aadi Mahotsav festival is the attempt of TRIFED to familiarize the people with the divers craft, rich culture and the cuisine of the country’s tribal communities at one place.
It has now proposed to hold a GI specific Aadi Mahotsav in collaboration with Ministry of Culture in February 2021 at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussourie. The ministry of commerce through its department of promotion of Industry and internal trade (DPITT), has identified 370 products with GI tagged and among these 50 products have tribal origin. Tribes India will promote and market these 370 GI tagged products through its network. Already plans are undergoing to register fifty native produces under GI and promote these products through TRIFED’s e-commerce platforms and the network of outlets. Fifty more products are likely to be identified for further promotion for which the efforts are ongoing.
As per the plans, an exhibition to be organised this month will display these items. The exhibition will also showcase the stamps being developed on 6 GI items by the department of post in this Philatelic exhibition. Moreover, lag and gum are being planned to supply to India Post from Van Dhan Vikas Kendras.
TRIFED is working for the empowerment of tribal population and it has been working to improve the livelihoods and income of the tribal people, while preserving their traditions and way of life at the same time. TRIFED has now expanded its scope for GI tagged products. These ventures are in line with achieving the vision of “Vocal for Local, Buy Tribal” and it will be transformational in terms of sustainable income generation and increasing employment of the tribal people. In a nutshell, these efforts of TRIFED are set to enable the economic welfare of these communities to bring them to mainstream development.