KOLKATA: The West Bengal State Council of Science and Technology is seeking GI recognition for various handicrafts which are unique in character and have the potential to be marketed nationally and internationally. Officials of the state patent office, in co-ordination with the department of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) have recently applied for GI tags for seven indigenous handicraft products ofthe state like 'Patachitra' paintings, 'Dokra', wooden mask, 'Chhau' mask, 'Madur'
Bengal is home to artists in all of these handicraft forms. For instance West Midnapore district has about 4500 Madhukathi mat makers who have over the years also specialised in making of curtain, hats and purses. Then there is Chhau mask makers in Purulia known for their products used in Chhau dance as well as decorative purposes. There are other artists like those who work with Dokra in Bankura and Sitalpati in Cooch Behar.