India is preparing to woo the world with indigenous toys, Swadeshi will be celebrated at the Hunar Haat fair

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The days of the toy industry in the country are coming to fruition after Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself called for an interest in indigenous toys and the promotion of Indian culture and culture through toys under ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’ Huh. In this episode, apart from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Rani Laxmibai, Paramveer Chakra winning warriors, etc., the Central Industries and Trade Promotion Department worked closely with nine different ministries to encourage toys based on Indian culture, values, yoga etc. Has been doing. Let’s take a look at the world of desi toys in this context …

Swadeshi toys will entice people at the Hunar Haat fair starting in different states of the country from the beginning of October. Through this, artisans and toy artisans will also get the opportunity to reach the big market. More than 30 percent of the stalls at the fair will be reserved for indigenous toy artisans. India’s domestic toy industry has a rich history. In the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh etc., artisans have been making attractive toys with their hands for centuries. They are also using technology with changing times. It is also pleasant that new startups are now joining toy manufacturing. They have established themselves in the market by innovating in toys.

There was a time when there were not so many electronic gadgets or modern toys. Children used to play board games by drawing tamarind seeds on the floor, using tamarind seeds instead of dias. They used to play Gulli-danda, Lattu, Pachisi and na-kya-kya-kya. The aim was to play one, two to three hours playing outside the field or under the open sky. Enjoy. But in today’s era, most children are playing all the games alone in the virtual world. They have limited choice of toys. Parents also consider it appropriate to give them toys of some big brands due to security and other reasons. Kitchen sets for girls, Barbie dolls, and guns or motorbikes for boys are considered fixed, while toys strengthen children’s EQ (emotional connect).

Help of indigenous artisans in making innovative toys: There is no doubt that indigenous toys give children an opportunity to connect with their culture and cultures. But the truth is also that today these toys have become more than mere decoration. This is the reason why the new generation of entrepreneurs, start-up companies are trying to make toys as per the demands of changing times. After eight years working in the retail sector, Swapna Wagh of Mumbai ventured into toy manufacturing in 2012 and started the journey of ‘Desi Toys’. She explains, ‘I had decided that no raw material would be imported from China or abroad. Local items will produce toys with the help of non-plastic), skills, art and craftsmen, so that children can be interested in toys.

Initially it took time to find artisans from different regions. Because most had abandoned traditional toy making. But they agreed to explain. ”According to Swapna, today she is reviving many old games and also trying to innovate in them. For example, the game of snake-ladder has been redesigned under the desi board games with the help of mythological stories (Dashavatar snake-ladder) and Madhubani painting. This will not only bring joy to the children, but they will also take some lessons. She explains, “I do not compromise on the quality of my sustainable toys (wood, cardboard, metal). Non-harmful colors are used. We provide designs to the artisans, making toys accordingly. His own suggestions also come. There are different toys for children of different ages, which can be purchased from other e-commerce platforms with our website. Our desi steam boat ‘Put-Put’ is very popular among children. ‘

Foundations of Desi brand of hobby soft toys: About 30 years ago, Delhi’s Jaspal Kaur Kohli also started making amateur toys at home. She used to make dolls for the cottage industry. Gradually, they gave wings to their imaginations and started developing soft toys to suit them. When his sons came into business in 1994, they started working organically and then laid the foundation for ‘Dimpy Toys’, which has become a brand today. Yashwinder Singh Kohli, director of the company, explains, “Our only objective is to make quality toys at reasonable prices.” For this, there is a team of inhouse designers, who help the artisans to produce toys to suit the market demand.

Some raw materials (clothing, accessories, etc. which meet international standards) have to be imported from abroad, as they are not available in India. But since the inception of the ‘Make in India’ campaign, some Indian suppliers from Panipat, Ludhiana, Surat and other cities associated with the textile industry have started developing good quality clothes from which we now shop. Dimpy Toys currently has two units (Greater Noida and Delhi).

Where toys are manufactured. They soon plan to set up new plants near Bhiwadi and Yamuna Expressway. According to Yashwinder, women craftsmen will also be uplifted due to the promotion of manufacture of soft toys.

The toy industry of Channapatna is historic: There are very few toys in the country, whose history is 300 years old. Channapatna toys, about 60 km from Bangalore, are among them. These toys have been continuously being manufactured here for almost 200 years. This is the reason why this city is also known as the ‘Toy Town’ of Karnataka. It also has a GI tag from the World Trade Organization, meaning that artisans here can sell their toys anywhere around the world under the brand name Channapatna. The popularity of these toys can also be gauged from the fact that Channapatna toys have been presented to all politicians and guests including former US President Barack Obama and Prince of Bhutan.

At the same time, if you try to explore the history of these toys, then it is no less interesting. It is said that once a guest in Tipu Sultan’s court had brought gifts from Persia. The Sultan was so impressed by the wooden toys that he urged the artisans from Persia to teach their skills to the local artisans of Channapatna as well. From then on, toys made of wood and lacquer started being manufactured here. Srinivasan, who has been associated with the manufacture of toys here for the last 40 years, says, “Our toys are made from special types of wood, which are light and hard. Earlier ivory wood was used more for these, but now toys are made from sycamore, cedar, rubberwood, pinewood.

The special thing is that in the process of making toys, not a little wood goes waste here. The remaining wood is used to make other toys or to make incense preparations. ”Apart from the country, there is a demand for Channapatna toys in other countries of the world. The majority of the city’s population is associated with this industry. However, in spite of getting support and encouragement from the government, the toy business like other areas was affected in the Corona period. It is expected that after the promotion of the indigenous toy industry by the Central Government and especially Prime Minister Modi, the business here will also gain momentum.

Wooden toys being made for generations in Varanasi: The government wants to encourage the domestic toy industry to manufacture child-friendly toys on a global scale. For this, various cities are planned to be developed as Toy City. In addition, efforts are being made to provide market to small artisans through Hunar Haat. This has sent a positive message among the toy artisans and entrepreneurs present in the country and they are trying to revive the lax enterprises. However, they face many types of challenges. For example, if we talk about the oldest Kashi city, then it has been identified with the manufacture of wooden toys. It is no less interesting to know that the third generation of Sitaram Vishwakarma, a resident of Ramkatora, Kashi, is engaged in pursuing this business today.

Sandeep Vishwakarma, an M.Com from the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth in Varanasi, used his education and knowledge to handle the toy business running from the forefathers instead of running behind his job. He explains, “The era of grandfather and father was different though. Now we have many types of challenges, of which the problem of GST is the highest. We welcome the Prime Minister’s initiative and appeal that the toy industry should be exempted from GST. ”According to Prem Shankar Vishwakarma, a resident of Lahartara and a state honoree,“ Apart from providing market to craftsmen and sending products abroad and Due to the publicity system, the morale of the entrepreneurs will increase. ”GI expert Dr. Rajinikanth explains,“ Wooden toys have been made here for centuries. According to an estimate, more than 500 varieties of toys have been produced here. The special thing about these toys is that the colors used in them are crafted by the artisans themselves. ‘

Chitrakoot Wooden Toy Industry: Like Varanasi, wooden toys are being made in Chitrakoot for the last 400 years. Gorelal Rajput, who was honored with the award of ‘National Crafts Guru’, took the first electricity connection after independence and modernized the industry with a small lathe machine. However, the lack of incentives has led to a slight relaxation of technological development thereafter. Despite limited resources and adversities, many artisans like Dheeraj, Balaram Rajput, Ajay Singh, Pappu are still working to give momentum to the toy industry. According to the entrepreneurs here, in the event of proper marketing (online market), opening of toy showrooms, easy loan from banks and ensuring supply of wood through forest corporation, they can easily compete with foreign toys. can do. The carved toys of Saharanpur are also in demand in the country and abroad of carved toys made of rosewood wood from the major industrial city of Saharanpur in western Uttar Pradesh.

It was once known as ‘Wood Carving City’. There were more than one and a half lakh artisans here. Khata Khedi, the lumber market area was particularly known for these wooden craftsmen. Toys here,

Lamps, lanterns, furniture etc. were all available. Sheikh Faizan, president of Saharanpur Wood Carving Association, says that apart from the nationwide supply of toys made of wooden elephants, horses, trains, buses etc., it has also been exported to various countries of the world. But since China occupied the Indian toy market, the demand for these toys has diminished, but its attractiveness cannot be brought to an end. ”It is now being expected after the government has taken steps to encourage native toys. That the toys of Saharanpur will once again entice the people of the country and abroad. Wood carving businessman Shahzaman says that there are many artisans still present here, who are given a well-established market which can change the situation. There are enthusiastic youngsters like Sameer Malik who are taking the lead in the ancestral business. They are making new design toys and products from the artisans and helping them reach the market with the help of online platforms. With this, they have started getting orders from countries in Germany, Finland and Central Asia.

Needs change over time

Amidst all the expectations, there is also a fact that the traditional toy business has been badly affected in the Corona era. Talking about Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, around 100 artisans here make traditional wooden toys. But according to artisan Mohammad Shakeel, he used to sell 8 to 10 toys daily before Corona. He says that toys have been made here for many generations. So we are keeping this art alive. There is also a good demand for eco friendly toys (puzzle, math building stacks, musical toys) made from lacquered wood in Budhni city of the state. On the other hand, the artisans of Bihar, Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal, who have been making clay toys for generations, say that in view of changing times and demand, now they are just looking at the festivals of Ganesh-Lakshmi statue, animals and birds and fruits Only toys with shapes are made. Toy artisan Umesh Pandit of Patna City says that due to the decrease in demand, some artisans are now making toys of wood and cloth.

Varanasi should be made ‘Toy City’

Godavari Singh, a toy manufacturer from Varanasi, said that I believe that there is a need to build a toy city in Varanasi itself. Because more than 500 varieties of toys are made here. The special thing is also that the bright colors used in toys are made by artisans themselves. Along with this, training centers for artisans should also be opened here. With the facility of Common Facility Center (CFC), they will be able to work with more efficiency and innovation. They will find large machines left under one roof, so that they can produce their products.

There should be improvement at the level of designing

Delhi’s Dimpy Toys Director Yashwinder Singh Kohli said that good quality toys are being made in our country. Some outperform Chinese toys both in terms of quality and price. Likewise, there are many possibilities for the development of indigenous toys, but at the level of presentation and designing, they fade a bit. Also, along with research and development, if the government concentrates on technology, encourages toy designing in educational institutions like NIFT, NID, then many shortcomings in the manufacturing process can be overcome.

In addition to land, toy entrepreneurs face the challenge of getting cheap loans. With this in mind, there is a need to create an ecosystem where everyone can give direction to the toy industry. The formation of clusters by the government is likely to help the industry, as it will facilitate learning from each other, using common facilities, training workers. Industries have benefited greatly from such experiments in China, Korea.

Testing of toys will increase quality

Swapna Wagh, founder of Desi Toys, Mumbai, said that India’s toy market is developing, not two opinions. But we cannot currently compare it with China or any other country. Because like Europe, America, we do not have any special criteria regarding the safety and testing of toys. Therefore, foreign rejected toys were dumped in us.

Even when common people started getting goods cheaply, they did not think it necessary to pay attention to quality. But now the Government of India has decided to make the ISI mark mandatory for toys, so that the quality can be ascertained. This will change the mindset. However, setting up testing labs will not be easy for artisans and small entrepreneurs. They will need funds and land. In such a situation, if the government wants to revive the toy industry, it will have to help them. Also, subsidies in licenses and loans have to be considered.

Montessori Innovative Toys For Kids

Maria, a toy manufacturer from Bengaluru, told that I am an engineer by profession. But in 2015 amateur started making toys for young children. Contacting schools started supplying toys made of Croatia and Felt fabric there. The only purpose of making toys from these special items is that they cannot harm children from anywhere. They are easy to clean (wash). They are eco friendly.

I mainly make toys with Montessori education in mind. Apart from this, I also keep his age in mind. For example, white-black soft toys for eyesight stimulation of young children .There are some I use Ghungroo in toys to introduce voice to young children. This helps children to develop fine and gross motorskills. I also make them feel textured through toys made of different fabrics (silk, rough, cotton, woolen etc.). With this, they get to know about different surfaces. Presently, I am supplying toys in Maharashtra apart from Karnataka.

Thank you, Stay safe and healthy!

Poonit Rathore

My name is Poonit Rathore. I am a Blogger, Content-writer, and Freelancer. Currently, I am pursuing my CMA final from ICAI. I live in India.

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