Special Correspondent

`Handloom mark' to help distinguish between genuine and spurious items

The mark is designed by the National Institute of Design, AhmedabadThere will be two marks one for domestic market, another for global market

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will on Wednesday launch a quality mark for handloom products that will help buyers distinguish between genuine items diligently crafted by artisans and the poor imitations mass-produced by power-looms.

The `handloom mark', designed by the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, will be implemented by the Mumbai-based Textiles Committee, a statutory body under the Ministry of Textiles.

The form

The form of the logo has been derived from the interlocking of the warp and weft. The threads stand for the artisans and various institutions that provide them with technical, design and other inputs. The warp and weft have been moulded to form a three-dimensional cube.

The mark will be in two forms one for the domestic market and the other for the international market. The one for the domestic market will have the word `handloom' written under the logo and the one for the global market will have the phrase, `hand woven in India,' written under the logo. Both will be in the same colour blue.

To ensure that the scheme is enforced properly, there will be a system for periodic surveillance audit by teams of officials and random verification of the products. There will also be a penalty clause. The first part of the clause will provide for cancellation of the registration for registered users who misuse the mark. The second part of the clause provides for action against unregistered persons, which will include imprisonment ranging from six months to three years and a fine amount ranging from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2 lakh. The penalty will be enhanced on second and consequent convictions. The Textiles Committee will be authorised to look into complaints about the authenticity of the products labelled with the mark.

Helping buyers, artisans

The scheme is expected to not only help the buyers in getting guaranteed products, but also help the artisans, who are facing myriad threats to their very survival with the advent of the power-looms. With technological developments, power-looms are now able to flood the markets with imitations of handloom articles at a much faster pace and at a much lower cost.