In a significant development for the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) Dongria Kondhs of Rayagada district in Odisha, their exquisite handwoven shawls, known as Kapdaganda, are on the verge of acquiring the prestigious Geographical Indicator (GI) tag while Koraput district’s ‘Koraput Kalajeera Rice,’ often referred to as the ‘Prince of Rice,’ has obtained Geographical Indications (GI) status.
Kapdaganda Shawls: A Cultural Treasure and the Quest for a GI Tag
Kapdaganda shawls, adorned with intricate embroidery, hold a special place in the Dongria Kondh culture, symbolizing gratitude and showcasing traditional craftsmanship at its finest. The journey towards obtaining the GI tag for Kapdaganda began with the Niyamgiri Dongria Kondh Weavers’ Association (NDKWA) collaborating with the Directorate of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Research and Training Institute. Recognizing the deep-rooted cultural significance of these shawls, the application for the GI tag was initiated.
Awaiting Official GI Recognition
As of now, the GI authority, operating under the jurisdiction of the Union government, has officially advertised Kapdaganda for GI status. The critical next step in this process involves a three-month period during which objections can be raised. Once this period passes without objections, Kapdaganda will proudly bear the GI tag, securing its authenticity and uniqueness.
Koraput Kalajeera Rice: The Prince of Rice Receives GI Recognition
In another remarkable achievement for Odisha, ‘Koraput Kalajeera Rice,‘ often referred to as the ‘Prince of Rice,’ has obtained Geographical Indications (GI) status. This aromatic rice variety, cherished for its nutritional value, has been cultivated by tribal farmers in Koraput district for generations. Koraput Kalajeera Rice, often likened to coriander seeds in appearance, is renowned for its black color, exceptional aroma, delicious taste, and pleasing texture. Beyond its culinary appeal, Kalajeera rice is attributed with numerous health benefits. Ancient texts suggest that it improves memory, controls diabetes, increases hemoglobin levels, and enhances metabolism. This fragrant grain is known for its antispasmodic, stomachic, carminative, antibacterial, astringent, and sedative properties.
Long-standing Heritage Acknowledged
The journey towards obtaining the GI tag for Koraput Kalajeera Rice was facilitated by the Odisha government, which supported the Jaivik Sri Farmers Producer Company Limited at Pujariput in their application for GI registry on January 11, 2022. This long-standing heritage finally received the recognition it deserved when an advertisement confirming its GI status was issued on August 31, 2023, on the official website of the Geographical Indications Registry.