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New Delhi, August 30, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged entrepreneurs and start-ups to work on toy manufacturing, an area where India has little presence in the international market.
Delivering his monthly address “Mann Ki Baat” over All India Radio (AIR), Modi said, “You will be surprised to know that the global toy industry is of more than 7 lakh crore rupees. Such a big business, but India’s share is very little.
“To my start-up friends, to our new entrepreneurs, I say, Team up for toys… let us make toys together. For everybody, it is time to get vocal for local toys.”
He said, in this era of computers and smartphones, computer games are popular with both the children and the grownups. “But even in these games, the themes are mostly extraneous. Our country has so many ideas, so many concepts. Our history has been very rich. Can we make games based on that? I call upon the young talent of the country -- make games in India and make games based on India too.
"Be it virtual games or the toys sector in the self-reliant India campaign, all have to play a very important role, and therein lies an opportunity too," he added.
“While the toys augment activity, they also give flight to our aspirations. Toys not only entertain, but they also build the mind and foster an intent too… In the National Education Policy, 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.
Referring to the rich tradition of local toys in the country, he said there were many talented and skilled artisans who possess expertise in making good toys.
Some parts of India are developing also as centres of toys like Channapatna in Ramnagaram in Karnataka, Kondaplli in Krishna in Andhra Pradesh, Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, Dhubari in Assam and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
The toy industry is very vast, be it cottage industries, small industries, MSMEs, big industries and private entrepreneurs. The country will have to persevere together to promote it. C V Raju in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh is at present engaged in reviving the popularity of the Eti-Koppakaa toys of his village were very popular. The speciality of these toys - these were made of wood without sharp corners. The edges were rounded off to prevent injury to the children.
He said he had asked the Children University of Gandhinagar, along with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises, to discuss the issue of keeping the children engaged during the lockdown.
“We discussed how to make new toys available to the children, how India could become a big hub of toy production,” he said.
Modi said that even during the coronavirus crisis, people were celebrating festivals and religious ceremonies with exaltation and enthusiasm coupled with patience, responsibility and discipline.
“People are getting along with their day-to-day tasks while taking care of themselves and others as well. At every event being organised in the country, the kind of patience and simplicity being witnessed this time is unprecedented. Even Ganeshotsav is being celebrated online in certain places," he said.
The Prime Minister noted that there has always been a deep connection between festivals and the environment in India. “On the one hand, our festivals implicitly convey the message of co-existence with the environment and nature and on the other, many festivals are celebrated precisely for protecting nature.
“For example, in West Champaran district of Bihar, people belonging to Thaaru tribal community have been observing a 60-hour lockdown for centuries…..in their own words- ‘Saath ghante ke Barna’. The Thaaru community has adopted it as a tradition for protection of nature, that too for centuries.
“During this period, neither does anyone enter the village, nor leave home, and they believe that if they step out or if someone comes to the settlement, the movement along with other routine activities of people could lead to the destruction of new plants and trees," he said.
Referring to the Onam festival in Kerala, he noted that the zest of the festival has reached distant shores of foreign lands, be it America, Europe or the Gulf countries. It is increasingly turning into an international festival.
Referring to the farm sector, he expressed happiness that the farmers have proven their mettle. “This time around in our country, sowing of Kharif crops has increased by 7% compared to last year. The sowing of paddy has increased by approximately 10%, pulses close to 5%, coarse cereals almost 3%, oilseeds around 13% and cotton nearly 3%. For this I extend felicitations to the farmers of our country…I salute their perseverance,” he added.
Regarding the move towards self-sufficiency, he referred to the app innovation challenge earlier this month. “Our youth participated enthusiastically in this Aatma Nirbhar Bharat App innovation challenge. Around 7,000 entries were received. Of these, nearly two-thirds were from the youth in tier two and tier three cities.
“After a lot of scrutiny, awards have been given to around two dozen apps in different categories. Among these, there is an App ‘Kutuki Kids Learning app. This is an interactive app for children in which they can easily learn many aspects of maths and science through songs and stories. In this, there are activities too and games as well.
“Similarly, there is also an app for the microblogging platform. Its name is ku Koo.. ku. In this, we can place our opinion and interact in our mother tongue through text, video or audio. Similarly, Chingari App too is becoming popular among the youth. There is an app Ask Sarkar. In this you can interact through a chatbot and can get the right information about any government scheme - that too through all the three ways- text, audio and video. It can be a great help to you,” he added.
Another app called, Step Set Go is a fitness app that keeps track of how much you walked, how many calories you burnt. It keeps track of the data and also motivates you to stay fit. There are many business apps and also gaming apps such as Is Equal To, Books & Expense, Zoho Workplace and FTC Talent.
The Prime Minister also talked about nutrition and said September will be observed as Nutrition Month. In this movement pertaining to nutrition, people’s participation is crucial. During the course of the Nutrition Month, a food and nutrition quiz will also be organized on the My Gov portal, and there will be a meme competition as well.
Modi stressed the need to promote Indian breed dogs that were good and capable. Among the Indian breeds, Mudhol Hound and Himachali Hound are of excellent pedigree. Rajapalayam, Kanni, Chippiparai and Kombai are fabulous Indian breeds. They cost less to raise and are better adapted to the Indian environment and surroundings.
“Now, our security agencies are also inducting these Indian breed dogs as part of their security squad. In the recent past, Mudhol Hound dogs have been trained and inducted in the dog squad of the Army, CISF and NSG; Kombai dogs have been included by the CRPF,” he added.