Gorakhpur: Now, horses, elephants, deer, camels, hanging bells – all made of Gorakhpur soil have become the members of the elite club of Geographical Indication (GI), a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation of that origin.
The centuries old Terracotta Craft of Gorakhpur has been granted GI tag by the Chennai based GI Registry on Thursday. “This is the first GI labeled good from the home district of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath,” said Padma Shri Dr. Rajni Kant, an eminent GI expert and president of Human Welfare Association (HWA). Under his guidance and support of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and Zila Udyog Kendra, the Laxmi Terracotta Murti Kala Kendra had applied for the GI certification to Gorakhpur Terracotta Craft in September 2018.
For generations the local artisans in many areas of the district including Aurangabad, Langadi Gularia, Bharwalia, Amawa, Budhadih, Ekla, Belwa Raipur, Chargawan have been producing over 1000 varieties of beautiful terracotta artifacts like various animal figures including elephants, horses, goats, camels and others. The entire work is done with bare hands.
According to Dr. Rajni Kant, out of 26 GI goods of Uttar Pradesh 14 belong to eastern UP including Allahabad Surkha Guava, Kalanamak Rice, Banaras Brocade & Saree, Handmade Carpet of Bhadohi, Banaras Gulabi Meenakari, Varanasi Wooden Lacquerware & Toys, Mirzapur Handmade Dari, Nizamabad Black Pottery, Banaras Metal Repoussé Craft, Varanasi Glass Beads, Ghazipur Wall Hanging, Soft Stone Jali Work, Chunar Balua Pathar, and Gorakhpur Terracotta Craft.
“Besides, five other crafts of this region including Mirzapur Pital Bartan, Chunar Glazed Pottery, Zardoji, Hand Block Print and Wood Carving are in the final stage of getting GI registration”, he said adding that nearly 20 lakh artisans, weavers and related stakeholders are involved in GI producing goods with an annual turnover of Rs. 20,500 crores.