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Odishatv Bureau

 

Bargarh: Fate of many Sambalpuri saree weavers is hanging in balance as fake sarees reportedly from Gujarat and Rajasthan are being sold at a much cheaper rate in the market.

According to sources, these fake sarees with Sambalpuri prints are being sold in the market in a price range of Rs 300 to Rs 400 under various brand names like 'Bharat Vijay Sarees' and 'Anuraag'. The original hand-woven Sambalpuri sarees cost Rs 3,000 and above, each.

"Presence of these fake Sambalpuri lookalike sarees which are being sold at Rs 300-Rs 400 is adversely affecting the market," said Ramkrushna Meher, a National Award-winning weaver.

In 2010, Sambalpuri hand-woven sarees were given Geographical Indication tag. Such fake sarees are not only threatening the livelihood of weavers, but also violating the Geographical Indication Act, 1999, informed sources.

A written complaint was filed in April last year regarding the issue in Bargarh district. Subsequently, a letter was sent to the Textile & Handloom department; however, no steps have been taken so far, informed sources.

"We had sent a sample saree for test to get opinion on whether it has violated the GI Act or not. However, we have not received any response despite 2 to 3 reminders," said Bargarh SDPO, Suresh Chandra Nayak.

Surprisingly, instead of taking steps to check such inflow of fake sarees into the market, Odisha Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts minister, Snehangini Chhuria's comments indicate that efforts are being made to bring down the prices of original Sambalpuri sarees.

"We have started producing low-cost Sambalpuri sarees ranging between Rs 300 and Rs 500. Consequently, people are getting original sarees at a lower price. Fake sarees are not at all coming into the market," said Chhuria.

A few days back, the issue was also discussed in the State Assembly during the budget session.

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