Odisha govt eyes GI tag for Golden Grass craft
The golden grass is woven to create wonderful craft items like mats, baskets, boxes, wall hangings and hats.
KENDRAPARA: Odisha government has decided to apply for the ‘Geographical Indication’ (GI) tag for Kendrapara’s famous Golden Grass craft.Speaking at the Toshali National Crafts Mela in Bhubaneswar on Thursday, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra said the State government has started collecting all the primary data to file an application at the GI Registry office in Chennai.
Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts Secretary Shubha Sarma said the department has already selected around 3,128 golden grass craftpersons, mostly women, in the district. “We have provided training to 1,479 craftpersons under Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) scheme of the government. Another 514 craftpersons are currently undergoing training which will be completed by October this year,” Sarma added.
Assistant Director, Handicrafts Ajit Prasad Bhoi said the SANKALP scheme was launched in November 2020. Under the scheme, 3,128 craftpersons of 35 villages in Kendrapara will be provided training and market facilities at a cost of `12.51 crore. “We are providing `4,500 per month as stipend to all the craftpersons. At least 15 trainers are getting a monthly salary of `15,000 each,” he informed.
Golden grass, locally known as Kaincha, is found abundantly in the riverside areas of Kendrapara. The wild grass reaches to a height of around 5-6 feet and the inflorescent stick, which appears after the monsoon, is used for weaving. Usually, women set out in groups to collect the grass. The grass is then split into two even strands. Women use their teeth to split each stem along its length. As the grass dries, it changes colour from pale green to golden yellow. This is where the craft derives its name.
The golden grass is woven to create wonderful craft items like mats, baskets, boxes, wall hangings and hats. The golden grass products are eco-friendly and biodegradable. Researcher Dr Basudev Das said the GI status will give the ‘Kendrapara Golden Grass’ a distinct identity as nobody can misuse the name to market similar crafts.