Directorate of Handloom and Textiles plans to register traditional Assamese ‘Gamusa’ as an item having Geographical Indication (GI) – a form of Intellectual Property Right (IPR). It is done to keep the identity of the item intact. The process has been initiated and necessary steps are taken to get the GI tag. ‘Gamusa’ being an integral part of state’s culture and tradition is taken as a priority by the Directorate and has already engaged the Patent Information Centre (PIC) of the government-run Assam Science Technology and Environment Council (ASTEC) to take the required steps.
Due to some unethical trade practices, the traditional gamusa is facing a serious threat to its existence and identity in Assam. The market is flooded with power loom gamusas posing a threat to local artisans who burn the midnight oil to make traditional handmade gamusas. It has become extremely difficult to differentiate powerloom gamusas from the traditional handmade ones. Even the Regional Office of the Textiles, Kolkata, a recognized laboratory for testing samples of clothes has failed to make the differentiation in handmade and powerloom gamusa. It is expected that the GI registration certificate will prevent plagiarizing of gamusa by such outside factories.
The Directorate of Handloom and Textile has proposed that the GI registration should cover all varieties of gamusas like the phulam (embroidered), the anakata (the gamusa woven for some special rituals without effecting any cut), the tiyoni (the gamusa used while bathing) varieties, etc.