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India Toy Fair Kickstarted – Here Are Seven Reasons Why Such Initiatives Are Need of the Hour

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated first-ever India toy fair — a virtual exhibition of Indian toys on February 27. The four-day fair aims to boost India’s toy industry, bringing all stakeholders under one umbrella. The fair will be held on the site www.theindiatoyfair.in

In a major Make in India push, the Modi government has recently announced eight toy manufacturing clusters at the cost of ₹2,300 crore. The government in previous months had also organised a Toycathon to promote bigger ideas around toys that may serve the purpose of education and innovation as well.

Now, the four-day toy fair further strengthens the idea of an Aatmanirbhar toy industry for India. Why are Indian toys and the domestic Indian Toy market so important? Let’s understand this in few points.

  • Before even touching upon the economic aspects of it, the very fact that nearly 80 per cent of toys our children purchase and play with today are imported should disturb us. This begs the question – can’t India as nation provide even things like toys of its own to Children?
  • The imported toys naturally offer the character and stories of their lands. Imagine a kid that grows without having an Indian hero or an Indian story through the toys she or he plays with. Is this not a bigger tragedy that we fail to inculcate a sense of belongingness and pride among children through toys by nurturing Indian stories and characters?
  • As we know, this is the age of visuals. Toys are not just things meant for playing in the free time but they are set to play an important role in education as they stand for visual representation and an instrument of storytelling. At a time when India has adopted a new education policy, it is important to have Indian toys that should dominate the imagination of Indians in the days to come.
  • A report from the ET Nowwebsite dated July 14, 2020 says this: “80% of Indian toys are Chinese imports and non-branded Chinese toys account for 90% of India’s market.” Do you want the Chinese to acquire our money and mindscape through toys?
  • Having a dominant domestic market of toys goes a long way in ensuring the health of kids as well. It was reported back in December 2019 that Chinese toys entering India have increasingly failed quality tests. The study, conducted by the Quality Council of India (QCI), set up jointly by the Central government and the Indian industry, found that nearly 67 per cent of all Chinese toys failed the safety standard tests.
  • Traditionally, India has legacy toy makers such as toys from Channapattana in Karnataka, the Bommalattu of Andhra Pradesh or the Rajasthani puppets. Encouraging Indian toys is a way of providing opportunities to our small enterprises. Take the instance of the proposed eight toy clusters in India. Three will come up in Madhya Pradesh, two in Rajasthan, and one each in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Two toy clusters are already under implementation in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh under an existing scheme. Overall, the Government plans to establish a total of 35 toy clusters across the nation.
  • Production of toys is one thing, but ideating about toys that are relevant to this day and age, to assist the toy story in the sphere of technology, is an opportunity that is waiting for Indian start-ups. India’s toy market stands at around $1.5 Billion. As PM Modi said,

 

“We can do two things through toys – bring back the glorious past in our lives and also spruce up our golden future. 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.”

 

You may also like to read:

Toycathon 2021: This Is How a Truly Indian Toy Story is Being Scripted

An Aatmanirbhar Opportunity for the Indian Toy Industry – Govt Places Strict Quality Control on Imported Toys

 

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