With the focus on “Vocal for Local” and building an “Atmanirbhar Bharat”, TRIFED has been actively collaborating with several ministries such as Ministry of Culture, Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce; India Posts; Ministry of Tourism and Office of the Prime Minister to take up the cause of promotion of GI Tag products along with tribal products and transform them into a brand, symbolizing empowerment of tribal artisans.
In this context, in collaboration with Ministry of External Affairs, TRIFED is about to set up an Atmanirbhar Bharat corner in 100 Indian Missions/ Embassies across the world. The corner will be an exclusive space to promote GI tagged tribal art and craft products besides natural and organic products. Catalogues and brochures that showcase the richness and variety of tribal products have also been shared with the Missions and embassies. Among the missions and embassies contacted, 42 of them, from countries such as Jamaica, Ireland, Turkey, Kenya, Mongolia, Israel, Finland, France, and Canada, have reverted. TRIFED is in the process of dispatching the first set of tribal products for the corner.
Recently as a part of celebrations for International Yoga Day, the Consulate General of India in New York organized a day-long event to showcase Yoga, holistic health, Ayurveda and wellness at New York’s Times Square. Attended by over 3000 people, the event at the iconic location in New York was very successful. A particular attraction was the stalls on display which showcased unique natural tribal products including immunity boosters, and Ayurvedic products. The stall put up by Tribes India included a range of tribal products, comprising both organic, essential natural immunity-boosting products such as millets, rice, spices, honey, chyawanprash, amla, ashwagandha powders, herbal teas and coffee and accessories such as yoga mats, wind flutes, herbal soaps, bamboo aromatic candles etc. The stalls also saw a great amount of footfall and a lot of interest was expressed in knowing about the uniqueness of Indian tribes and tribal products. A consignment worth about Rs.8.5 lakhs of tribal products had been ordered by India Consulate New York for the event.
Earlier, in February 2021, keeping in line with the Prime Minister’s vision for Vocal for Local and a self-reliant India, and introduce the rich tribal heritage to international audiences, a Tribes India Conclave had been organized in association with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India at the Tribes India Aadi Mahotsav. The event, which was well-received, was attended by over 120 diplomats from more than 30 foreign missions in India besides senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs also visited the Aadi Mahotsav.
Dignitaries included diplomats from countries such as Taipei, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Malaysia, Bolivia, Zambia, Finland, Poland, Brazil, Egypt, Costa Rica, Cambodia, Kenya, Malta, Philippines, Laos, Tunisia, Croatia, Togo, Afghanistan, USA, Ghana, Turkey, Uzbekistan, UK, Iran, France to name a few. There were delegates from international organizations such as UNHCR and UNDP as well.
India has a rich legacy of indigenous products, be it handicrafts, handlooms, and other produce. As the national nodal agency TRIFED has been working extensively to help market and promote the indigenous products that tribal groups across the country have been producing since centuries. It is in this context that Geographical Indication or GI tagging has acquired even more of an importance.
In this context, Tribes constitute over 8% of our population however, they are among the disadvantaged sections of the society. An attitude that pervades among the mainstream is the erroneous belief that they have to be taught and helped. However the truth is otherwise – the tribals have a lot of teach urban India. Characterised by natural simplicity, their creations have a timeless appeal. The wide range of handicrafts which include hand-woven cotton, silk fabrics, wool, metal craft, terracotta, bead-work, all need to be preserved and promoted.
The Geographical Indication, which has been recognized by the World Trade Organization, is used to denote the geographical territory from where a product, be it an agricultural produce, natural product or manufactured, and also conveys assurance of qualities or attributes that are unique to that specific geographic region. India became a signatory to this convention, when, as a member of the WTO, it enacted the Geographical Indications (Registration and Protection Act), 1999, which came into effect from September 15, 2003.
With this promotional boost, it is hoped that these unique products get a larger market and the larger vision of “Vocal for Local, Buy Tribal” can be achieved which will be truly transformational in the areas of Sustainable Income generation and Employment of tribal people in the country.