Visakhapatnam: The long wait for the Geographical Identification (GI) for the two century-old legacy of the softwood-lacquer ware toys, popularly known as ‘Lakka Pidathalu’ at Etikoppaka in Vizag district is expected to come to an end early next year.
GI helps to promote a product globally and also provides protection from others making it at any other location than the place it originated. It was in May, 2014, that the Andhra Pradesh Technology Development & Promotion Centre, (APTDC) had approached the GI Registry at Chennai for GI tag to Etikoppaka toys.
The APTDC is the nodal agency for facilitating commercialisation of innovative products. It also facilitates getting GI status to handicrafts and other unique products.
GI tag will give a unique identity to any product especially toys and handicrafts that help the industry and artisans from the onslaught of imitations.
The dumping of identical Chinese wooden toys into the market has already hit Etikoppaka artisans hard as they don’t have the means to compete with the cheaper price and market their products as vigorously.
Some traders are getting these Chinese imitations and selling them as Etikoppaka toys.
“Typically it takes a minimum two years for any GI application to be processed and get the coveted tag. The application of Etikoppaka toys is right now at examination stage. We have just filed our response and another set of responses to the general objections by the registry will be filed in 2-3 weeks from now. If the registry is satisfied with the responses, it will advertise for objections for almost 6 months after which it will be considered for GI tag,” said APTDC state head and Counsellor-IPR, registered patent agent Subhajit Saha.
It was ln 1906, the application of lacquer was first introduced in the making of Etikoppaka toys.
Soon, the craftsman of Etikoppaka with their unique skill and creativity started making other crafts on the hand lathe machine.
The landlords found these traditional crafts very unique and started exploring it as a business opportunity.
“These Chinese imitation toys have been bothering us. We don’t know any other work than making these toys. It will be helpful for us if our toys get GI tag,” said artisan from Etikoppaka, S. Chinnaya Chari.