NEW DELHI: Noting that the global toy industry is worth over Rs 7 lakh crore but that India’s share is very small in the sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday gave a clarion call to be “vocal for local toys”, stressing on the need for making the country a toy hub.
Addressing his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, the Prime Minister said India has the talent and the ability to become a toy hub. The Prime Minister said that the toy industry is very diverse and some of the regions in India are being developed as toy clusters to make the nation a toy hub.
Channapatna in Karnataka’s Ramanagara, Kondapalli in Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna, Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, Dhubri in Assam, and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh are among the places in India which are being developed in the toy sector.
Mentioning that there has been a tradition of local toys in India, the Prime Minister said there are several expert toy craftsmen in India. “There has been a rich tradition of local toys in our country. There are many talented and skilled artisans who possess expertise in making good toys,” Modi said. “You will be surprised to know that the global toy industry is worth more than Rs 7 lakh crore. Such a big business of Rs 7 lakh crore but India’s share is very little in this,” the Prime Minister said.
“Now, just spare a thought for a nation which has so much of heritage, tradition, variety and young population. Will it feel good to have such little share in the toy market? Not at all, you too won’t feel good after hearing this.”
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Modi said he was thinking about his young friends and how they can get more toys. He said that the best toys are those that bring out creativity. In the National Education Policy, the Prime Minister said, a lot of attention has been given on the impact of toys on different aspects of children’s lives. Learning while playing, learning to make toys, visiting toy factories, all these have been made part of the curriculum, he said.
“Let us team up for toys. This industry is very vast. We should focus on this industry be it cottage industries, small industries and MSMEs. Big industries and private entrepreneurs too come in the ambit of this. The entire country will have to work hard together to take the toy industry forward,” the Prime Minister said in his half-hour address to the nation.
Modi said the country will have to persevere together to promote this. Mentioning the works of C.V. Raju in Vishakhapatnam, the Prime Minister said once the ‘Eti-Koppakaa’ toys of his village were very popular as these were made of wood, and secondly, there are no any angles or corners in these toys anywhere.
“These toys were round from all sides hence there was no scope for injury to children. Raju has now started a sort of a new movement for ‘Eti-Koppakaa’ toys along with the artisans of his village. By making excellent quality ‘Eti-Koppakaa’ toys he has brought back the lost glory of these local toys.”
Suggesting two things that can be done through toys, Modi said we must bring back the glorious past in our lives and also spruce up our golden future. Seeking support of those trying to begin start-ups and new businesses, he said this is the time to be “vocal for local toys”.
“To my start-up friends, to our new entrepreneurs, I say ‘Team up for toys’. Let us make toys together. For everybody it is the time to get vocal for local toys. Come, let us make some good quality toys for our youth. Toys should be such that in their presence childhood blooms and smiles. Let us make toys which are favourable to the environment too.”
Similarly in this era of computers and smartphones, Modi said there is a big trend of computer games which are played by children and grownups as well. But even in these games, he said their themes are mostly extraneous.
Noting that India has so many ideas, so many concepts and a very rich history, the Prime Minister called upon the young talent of the country to make games in India and make games based on India too. “Let the game begin! So; let us start the game…Be it virtual games, be it the sector of toys in the self-reliant India campaign, all have to play very important role, and therein lies an opportunity too.”
Today, when we are trying to make the country self-reliant, Modi said we have to move with full confidence and make the country self-reliant in every area.