New Delhi, Aug. 17: India is enriched in local arts and artistic traditions. The local economies are the backbone of the country’s economy. Now, giving another boost to these local economies, Four new products – Kerala's Tirur betel, Tamil Nadu's Palani Panchamirtham 'prasadam', Mizoram's Tawlhlohpuan and Mizo Puanchei – received Geographical Indication (GI) under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.
GI is an indication used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. Such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality.
Palani Panchamirtham from Palani Town in Dindigul District of Tamil Nadu State, Tawlhlohpuan and Mizo Puancheifrom the state of Mizoram and Tirur Betel leaf from Kerala are the latest additions to the list of registered Gis,” said a release from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The Panchamirtham 'prasadam' is a combination of five natural substances – banana, jaggery sugar, cow ghee, honey and cardamom in a definite proportion. It is prepared in a natural method without addition of any preservatives or artificial ingredients and is well known for its religious fervor and gaiety. This is the first time a temple ‘prasad’ from Tamil Nadu has been bestowed with the GI tag.
“Tawlhlohpuan, a medium to heavy, compactly woven, good quality fabric from Mizoram is known for warp yarns, warping, weaving & intricate designs that are made by hand. Tawlhloh, in Mizo language, means 'to stand firm or not to move backward’,” added the release.
Tawlhlohpuan, which holds high significance in the Mizo society, is produced throughout the state of Mizoram, Aizawl and Thenzawl town being the main center of production.
Kerala's Tirur betel vine is mainly cultivated in Tirur, Tanur, Tirurangadi, Kuttippuram, Malappuram and Vergara block panchayats of Malappuram District. It is valued both for its mild stimulant action and medicinal properties. Even though it is commonly used for making pan masala for chewing, it has many medicinal, industrial and cultural usages and is considered as a remedy for bad breath and digestive disorders.
An official release said, “GI products can benefit the rural economy in remote areas, by supplementing the incomes of artisans, farmers, weavers, and craftsmen. India’s rural artisans possess unique skills and knowledge of traditional practices and methods, passed down from generation to generation, which needs to be protected and promoted. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade has taken several initiatives in this regard and is actively involved in the promotion and marketing of GIs”.