Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, better known as Mother Teresa or as Saint Teresa of Calcutta according to the Catholic Church, was an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary and is generally known worldwide for her immense love and care for the poor and the suffering. She was born on 26’th August, 1910 at Skopje in Macedonia and had lived there for about eighteen years before she moved to Ireland and after that to India. She then lived most of her life in India.
The Missionaries of Charity was founded by her in 1950. It is a Roman Catholic religious congregation, having more than four thousand sisters and is active in approximately one hundred and thirty three countries worldwide. The congregation serves to help the poor and the suffering and manages homes for people with tuberculosis, leprosy and HIV/AIDS. It also manages mobile clinics, dispensaries, schools for the underprivileged and orphanages. It also conducts children and family counseling programs. The members must take vows of chastity, poverty, obedience and to give wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.
Mother Teresa was first given recognition for her service in 1962 by the Indian government when she was given the Padma Shri award and later on, she was also given the Bharat Ratna (highest civilian award in India) in 1980. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress. On the 4’th of September 2016, Pope Francis canonized Mother Teresa in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City after being satisfied with her achievements with regard to the beautification and miracle postulates requisite to be declared as a saint.
Mother Teresa worked with the poor in Kolkata for almost half a century wearing a simple white sari with three blue stripes on the borders, with one stripe being thicker than the other two. Even after her demise in 1997, senior nuns who are a part of the Missionaries of Charity still continue to wear the same sari, which has now become the official uniform of this religious global congregation.
This globally recognized sari has finally been recognized as a Trademark by the Indian Trademark Registry on the 4’th of September 2016, coinciding with the day Mother Teresa was canonized, and the Missionaries of Charity only came public with the news recently. The Trademark is not only for the blue borders, but covers the white sari with blue borders with one border being thicker than the rest as a whole, hence satisfying the criteria of a combination of colours. The application for registration of the world famous sari had been made on 12’th of December, 2013 after the necessary processes being followed and the criterion of due diligence having been met. The Government of India chose to symbolically grant the registration on the abovementioned date in order to commemorate the canonization of Saint Teresa. The registration for Trademark of this acclaimed sari was first applied for, after various incidents of its immoral and unethical usage for commercial gains by people around the world came into notice. There were various incidents like shops around the congregation’s headquarters lying to customers that their products’ proceeds were going to the order, usage of her name by a school in Nepal, a certain priest in Romania raising money using her name and even the opening of a certain cooperative bank in Kerala in her name. Hence, it was important to stop such people from using her name and the famous sari associated closely with her from immorally achieving commercial gains. The Missionaries of Charity chose to finally become public with the news of the Trademark in order to stop such people from continuing with their immoral activities, which have now also turned illegal, owing to the Trademark Status of Saint Teresa’s famous white sari with blue borders.