After a decade-long wait, the famous sturdy leather chappals from Kolhapur in Maharashtra, popularly known as ‘Kolhapuri chappals’ got a Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
In 2009, Sant Rohidas Leather Industries and Charmakar Development Corporation Limited of Maharashtra (LIDCOM) and Leather Industries Development. Corporation of Karnataka (LIDKAR), both had sought GI tag for Kolhapuri chappals.
GI tag ensures that the footwear produced only in these eight districts will qualify to carry the tag of being Kolhapuris. The GI tag is said to further boost its sale in other parts of the country and abroad.
The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks granted the GI tag for Kolhapuri chappals to four districts of Maharashtra and Karnataka each for making the chappals.
The approval of GI tag means that the artisans producing Kolhapuri chappals in Kolhapur, Solapur, Sangli and Satara districts of Maharashtra and Dharwad, Belgaum, Bagalkot and Bijapur Bijapur districts of Karnataka will now be able to make and market their product in domestic and international markets.
It means that producers of footwear in any other part of the country will now be forbidden from using the term ‘Kolhapuri chappals’ to sell their product.
As per a report in LiveMint, ToeHold, a brand of Kolhapuri chappals produced by an all-women group of artisans in Athani (a tiny village in Belgaum district) bagged a $60,000 (Rs 25.8 lakh) order from a Russian firm.
When we spoke to Managing Director of LIDCOM, Dr Rajesh Dhabre, he said, “It’s a great move as it would stop the sale of fake Kolhapuri chappals and produce only regional and authentic ones. Only eight districts would be able to sell authentic the chappals.”