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Preserving the Heritage of Indian Handmade Paper with GI

Handmade paper has the benefit of being completely free of wood, making it the most environmentally friendly type of paper available. It is also 100 percent recyclable. Handmade paper is ideal for both writing and printing. When compared to regular paper, it possesses higher tensile, bursting, tearing, and double-fold strength. Apart from that, it looks wonderful; handmade paper is trendy, upmarket, and sophisticated!

Papers can be embellished with flower petals, jute, wool, grass, straw, and other materials. In terms of environmental friendliness, handmade paper appears to be the right item to have come along. Handmade paper is created without the use of any chemicals. Because the paper is solar dried, there is no energy waste.

No trees are chopped down to manufacture such paper; the pulp used to make the paper is taken from Cotton Fabric Rags, making it completely eco-friendly and natural. So handmade paper reduces pollution, protects trees (and animals), and contributes to a far cleaner environment.

The study is appropriately intended for the preservation of knowledge, such as method, material, and important elements of the Indian handmade paper. As a result, this article addresses the methodological user-driven design exploration to preserve and propagate the cultural heritage value of Indian traditional craft-form among new generations through Geographic Indication given by the Indian government.

Understanding the GI Tag
A Geographical Indication (GI) tag is a label that is applied to items that are connected with a certain geographical area or origin. It guarantees that the popular product name may only be used by authorized users or those who live in the chosen geographical region. This precaution protects the product from unlawful replication or copying by others.

The GI tag is valid for 10 years, offering legal protection as well as increasing the economic worth of these items. However, the owner of a GI tag cannot exercise his or her rights to prohibit others from producing a product using the same processes or procedures as specified in the standards for that specific indication. Geographical Indication Protection gives you ownership of the sign that makes up the indication.

Legal Framework and Obligations
"Geographic Indications" (GIs) are a creation of the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 1995. The TRIPS Agreement specifies a minimum level of protection for geographical indications (GIs) and enhanced protection for wines and spirits. The TRIPS Agreement requires WTO countries to adopt legal methods to restrict the use of a GI that misleads the public as to the geographical origin of the products or constitutes an act of unfair competition.

Articles 22 to 24 of TRIPS Agreement Part II, Section III define minimum requirements of GI protection that WTO countries must give. According to Article 22 of the TRIPS Agreement, unless a GI is protected in the place of origin, there is no responsibility for other countries to offer reciprocal protection. However, only in the case of wines and spirits does Article 23 of the TRIPS Agreement grant further protection to GIs.

This means that they should be safeguarded even if there is no risk of deception or unfair competition. Article 23 requires member nations to enact legislation to prohibit the use of geographical indications (GIs) for wines or spirits that do not originate in the specified region. The protection mismatch is the primary point around which the GI troubles revolve.

However, according to the TRIPS Agreement, WTO countries are not bound to continue protection to GIs if the items become generic. This clause will very certainly be abused. The risk is that commodities well known for their geographical origin, reputation, and/or qualities may be labeled 'generic,' and therefore lose their GI protection. Nonetheless, Article 24 specifies several exceptions to the protection afforded by this provision.

The contradiction between trademarks and geographical indications (GIs) and how to resolve it has also been debated, resulting in a number of contradictory ideas. In the absence of any regulation, Indian courts have used the principle of passing off to protect GIs. They have heard petitions in situations of GI violation that misleads consumers about the location of origin or constitutes unfair competition. In such circumstances, they have provided remedy, including injunctions prohibiting the defendant from using such signals.

In order to meet its obligations under the TRIPS Agreement, India passed the GIs of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, as well as the GIs of Goods (Registration and Protection) Rules, 2002, in 1999.

The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, governs geographical indication registration and protection in India. This statute is consistent with the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The Paris Convention recognizes and underlines the importance of industrial property and geographical indicators as important components of intellectual property.

Historical Significance of Indian Handmade Paper
Handmade paper has been used in India since the third century BC. Making handmade paper is a traditional craft conducted by a certain group of people for decades. This trade has been passed down from generation to generation of artisans. "Kagzi's" are these artisans. Their name comes from the Urdu word kavas, which means "paper." This community's population has shrunk over time.

A portion of this group established thousands of years ago in Sanganer, near Jaipur, and there is a tiny hamlet of 'Kagzi's' there. They claim to be originated from Turkey and to have migrated to China before settling in India.

In Sanganer in Rajasthan, a historic town that existed long before Jaipur, is a centre for traditional handicrafts like as textiles, hand printing on blocks, and natural dyeing procedures. It also serves as a significant papermaking centre. Sanganer has been recognized for its Kagzis, or papermakers, and papermaking units since the reign of Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq. In the 16th century, the Raja Man Singh took them under his wing and brought them to Sanganer. The Kagzis make paper cotton rags, silk, and banana trunk fibre from three different source materials.

Cotton-based paper accounts for 90% of their products, however despite the basic raw material, the finished product comes in a variety of appealing finishes. There's metallised paper, which has been coated to seem like foil, and leatherised paper, which has been purposefully crumpled to look like leather.

Then there's paper that's been infused with flower petals and leaves, adorned with tinsel, or even block printed to seem like fabric. As a result, the town became one of the largest paper manufacturing centres in north India.

Paper manufacture in this area is said to have peaked during the Mughal Empire. Handmade paper suffered a significant defeat under British rule, since the British encouraged the import of mill-made paper from Western countries. By the 1930s, just a few members of this village were still engaged in their ancient trade. At this moment, Mahatma Gandhi gave much-needed assistance by purchasing handmade paper in quantity for his Ashram and other partners.

Following independence, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) included handmade paper to its list of crafts to encourage. The handmade paper business has expanded slowly but steadily over the years and is now a prominent player in the global market, exporting a large amount of its output.

Artisanal Craftsmanship: The Kalpi Handmade paper
Papermaking is a very ancient traditional Kalpi craft. Kalpi Handmade Paper has a number of historical and gazetteer proofs. The Indian Independence Movement and Mahatama Gandhi's Slogan to "Swadesi Movement" boosted the Kalpi handmade paper sector.

For most of its history, papermaking was regarded a lifelong, exclusive vocation; the label "notable papermakers" is sometimes not strictly confined to individuals who actually create papers. Despite technological developments, the hand papermaking procedure at Kalpi has altered relatively little over time.

Kalpi has long been a centre for the production of handmade paper. Munnalal 'Khaddari,' a Gandhian, formally established the art here in the 1940s, however many locals believe Kalpi's involvement with papermaking stretches back longer. Handmade paper is a sheet of paper created by hand with a mould and deckle.

The mould is a frame that is covered with a flat, stiff, or flexible screen. Deckle is a flat frame used to cover the mould and collect wet pulp run-off. Layer of interwoven fibers kept together by the intrinsic internal bonding qualities of cellulose fibers raised by hand, sheet by sheet on molds in suspension of fibers in water with or without sizing in handmade paper.

Cotton, silk, and agro waste (such as sugarcane waste, bark fibers, or jute waste) are used to make handmade paper. With the increased attention on the environment, the popularity of handmade paper presents has skyrocketed.

Babasaheb Ambedkar wrote the first draft of the Constitution on paper made in India. Nehru had his will and testament printed on materials made in India. The organization also produced the wedding invitations for former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her eldest son Rajiv Gandhi.

Also produce a range of products, including paper bags, photo albums, pen stands, lamp shades, lanterns, notebooks and files, among other things; All the items are made from handmade paper.

Needless to say, clients in Germany, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Thailand have embraced the Institutes' offerings.

Method of production of Handmade paper:

  • Separation of useable fiber from other raw materials. (For example, cellulose derived from wood, cotton, and so forth.)
  • Grinding the fiber into pulp
  • Changing the paper's color, mechanical, chemical, biological, and other qualities by adding unique chemical premixes
  • Testing the final solution
  • Pressing and drying to obtain the finished paper

Raw Material Used in Handmade paper:

  • Waste cloth material (kataran, chindi, waste hosiery material, Old tirpal, shamiyana)
  • Lai, Straw, Sun, Patua
  • Flower petals like � Rose, Marigold, Dhaniyapatti
  • Bleaching powder
  • Color
  • Caustic for skin irritation

Threats to Heritage: Challenges Faced by Indian Handmade Paper Industry:

  • Erratic Raw Material Availability: The supply of raw materials for handmade paper is not continuous and consistent, since raw materials for handmade paper include agriculture and textile waste, which is reliant on the production of those industries.
  • Slow manufacturing: Handmade paper manufacturing is slower than machine-made paper due to physical labor, restricted production units, and raw supplies. One sheet of handmade paper is manufactured at a time, signifying a limited rate of production.
  • Non-uniform manufacturing: Because each sheet of handmade paper is produced, mass manufacturing of uniform handmade papers is not possible. Handmade papers' surfaces are rough and uneven when compared to machine-made paper, making them unsuitable for specific works.
  • Handmade Paper Cost: Handmade paper is more expensive than machine-made paper due to restricted handcrafted manufacturing, specialized labor, and raw materials.

  • Teijgeler, Rene & Teygeler, Ren�. (2001). Handmade paper from India: Kagaj yesterday, today and tomorrow. 10.13140/2.1.1499.5522.
  • Srivastava, S. C. (2003). Geographical Indications and Legal Framework in India. Economic and Political Weekly, 38(38), 4022�4033.

Written By: Mr.Aakash Chaudhary, A 3rd Year Student Of, Faculty Of Law, University Of Lucknow, Lucknow.

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