Prerna Kapila and Gurupdesh Kaur
Phulkari, a traditional embroidery finds its roots in Punjab and is an amalgamation of various stitches. It has found a big space in fashion industry, has been reinvented innumerable times and has earned good prestige in India and abroad. In order to protect this art form, Geographical Indication (G I) tag for phulkari has been awarded to Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. The present study was undertaken in the districts of Patiala and Amritsar with a view to identify the level of awareness about this traditional embroidery among various stakeholders. The study was conducted among 60 artisans and a group of wholesalers and retailers. It was seen that the awareness about G I tags was not present among the artisans as none of the artisans interviewed were aware of this tag and its benefits. However thirteen per cent of the retailers and eight per cent of the wholesalers interviewed were aware of the GI tag available for the craft. It was seen that only thirty per cent of the respondents were involved in this craft for economic reason. Many artisans were unable to identify the difference between the embroidery done by hand or through computerized machineries. The need of the hour is to provide the GI tags to the communities that are custodian of those products and empower local communities by backing them as applicants thus making them better informed. The marketing network of these rural communities is the weakest link which should be strengthened by hand holding.