Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the India Toy Fair 2021 today through video conference. Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Shri Nitin Gadkari and Union Minister of Textiles Smt Smriti Irani also participated in the event. The Toy Fair will be held from 27th February to 2nd March 2021. More than 1,000 exhibitors participated in the fair.
The Prime Minister interacted with toy makers from Channapatna in Karnataka, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, and Jaipur in Rajasthan. Through this Toy fair, the Government and the Industry shall come together to discuss how India can be made the next global hub for manufacturing and sourcing of toys by way of attracting investments in the sector and promoting exports.
Addressing the event, the Prime Minister called for bringing out the hidden potential of the toy industry in India and to create an identity for it as a big part of the campaign for AatmaNibhar Bharat. He added this first toy fair is not just a business or economic event. This program is a link to strengthen the country’s age-old culture of sports and cheer. He said this toy fair is one such platform where one can discuss toy design, innovation, technology, Marketing and packaging and also share their experiences. He said the world has done research on toys from the era of Indus Valley civilization, Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa.
The Prime Minister recalled that in ancient times, when travelers from the world came to India, they used to learn sports in India and used to take it along with them. He added that chess, which is so popular in the world today, was earlier played in India as ‘Chaturanga or Chaduranga’. Modern Ludo was then played as ‘Pachisi’. He said in our scriptures, it was described that Bal Ram had a lot of toys. In Gokul, Gopal Krishna used to play with his friends outside the house in a balloon. Games, toys and crafts have also been engraved in our ancient temples.
The Prime Minister said toys made here contributed to the all-round development of children. He said the way reuse and recycling have been a part of the Indian lifestyle, it is also seen in our toys. Most Indian toys are made from natural and eco-friendly items, the colors used in them are also natural and safe. He said these toys also connect the mind with our history and culture and are also helpful in social mental development and cultivation of Indian outlook. He appealed to the country’s toy manufacturers to make toys that are better for both ecology and psychology! He asked them to use less plastic in toys, to use such things that can be recycled.
The Prime Minister remarked that today across the world, in every sector, Indian outlook and Indian ideas are being talked about. He added it is a specialty of Indian sports and toys that they contain knowledge, science, entertainment and psychology. He added when children learn to play with lattu, they are taught the lesson of gravity and balance in playing lattu. In the same way, a child playing with a slingshot, inadvertently starts learning basics about the potential of Kinetic Energy. He said puzzle toys develop strategic thinking and problem solving. Similarly, newborns also begin to feel the circular movement by twisting and rotating the arms.
The Prime Minister said the creative toys develop the senses of the kids and give wings to their imaginations. There is no limit to their imaginations. All they need is a little toy that will satisfy their curiosity and awaken their creativity. He urged the parents to play with their children because toys play a vital role in the learning process of children. He said the parents should understand the science of toys and the role they play in the development of children and he urged the teachers to use it in schools. He said in this direction, the Government has taken effective steps and brought changes through the New National Education Policy.
About the new national education policy the Prime Minister said it incorporates play-based and activity-based education on a large scale. This is an education system in which special attention has been paid to the development of logical and creative thinking in the children. He said in the field of toys, India has tradition and technology, India has concepts and competence. We can take the world back towards eco-friendly toys, through our software engineers computer games can bring the stories of India to the world. But despite all this, today India’s share in the $ 100 billion global toy market is very small. 85 % of the toys in the country are sourced from abroad. He stressed the need to change this situation.
The Prime Minister said the country has now graded the toy industry in 24 major sectors. The National Toy Action Plan has also been prepared. It has included 15 ministries and departments to make these industries competitive, countries to become self-reliant in toys, and India’s toys also go into the world. Throughout this campaign, state governments have been made an equal partner in developing the toy clusters. He said along with this efforts are made to strengthen the possibilities of toy tourism. Toyathon-2021 was also organized to promote Indian sports based toys and more than 7000 ideas were brainstormed.
The Prime Minister said if there is a demand for Made in India today, then the demand for Handmade in India is also increasing equally. He added today people do not only buy toys as a product but also want to connect with the experience associated with that toy. So we have to promote Handmade in India as well.