BHUBANESWAR: Celebrating the Geographical Indication (GI) tag accorded to ‘Odisha Rasagola’, Utkal Mistanna Byabasayee Samiti (UMBS), an association of sweet makers in the State, distributed 50,000 rasagolas among the public free of cost at Jayadev Bhawan here on Monday.
Hundreds of Samiti members gathered at Jayadev Bhawan and distributed the sweet among public free of cost till afternoon. They promoted “Ratha Jatra jebethu, Rasagola sebethu”. The Samiti also organised a meet on the occasion to find out ways for better marketing of the sweet and demand GI tags for other traditional sweet dishes of Odisha.
MSME Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra attended the event. Among others, Bhubaneswar Central MLA Anant Narayan Jena was present.Samiti president Bimbadhar Behera sought the State Government’s help for establishment of sweets’ hubs within and outside Odisha to make them popular. Behera also urged Mishra to help the Samiti acquire GI tags for ‘chhenapoda’, ‘chhena jhili’, ‘rasabali’, ‘pheni’ and ‘Arisa Pitha’. “The MSME Minister has assured to consider our proposals and provide a piece of land somewhere between Bhubaneswar and Cuttack for establishment of a sweets’ hub,” a Samiti member said.
The GI Registry of India awarded the GI tag on July 29 after a tumultuous tussle between West Bengal and Odisha regarding the origin of the syrupy delight.UMBS, along with the Odisha Small Industries Corporation Limited (OSIC), was recognised as the registered proprietor of the delicacy by the GI Registry.
“Rasagola has been closely associated with the rituals of Lord Jagannath in Puri for centuries. The GI tag has corroborated our claim that the sweet had its origin in Odisha. Everyone in the State should celebrate this triumph,” said Samiti vice- president Pramod Kumar Prusty.