MP's from Maharashtra have demanded that famed Kolhapuri chappals, known for unique designs and comfort, should be patented at the earliest to protect the region's cottage industry.
NCP member Dhananjay Mahadik, who is from Kolhapur, said artisans of the region have been faced with a range of difficulties and the government must come forward to help them.
"I demand patent for Kolhapur footwear as similar footwear are being produced and sold in other areas of the country. Fakes are being produced and we must protect the industry in Kolhapur," he said.
The MP was speaking during a discussion on the Footwear Design and Development Institute Bill, 2017. Talking about the Kolhapuri chappals, Mahadik said besides being fashionable, they have medicinal values also and the government must strongly support the 3,500 artisan families involved in the footwear industry.
Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy also demanded patenting of the Kolhapuri footwear. He said there are no major Indian brands in the global leather industry. The aim of the bill is to facilitate and promote teaching, training and research in all disciplines relating to design and development of footwear and leather products.
Moreover, it seeks to declare FDDI (Footwear Design and Development Institute) an institution of national importance. Supporting the bill, Anandrao Adsul of Shiv Sena said the government should open footwear design institute in each and every district of the country, considering the potential of the industry. He also favoured reserving 20 to 25 per cent seats for children of workers involved in the footwear industry.