The Toy industry in India is as old as our civilization. India has always had a rich history of toys. In India, toys are made from wood, metal, cloth, bamboo, stone, terracotta, etc. among others. Every state in India has its own unique art and skill of making these toys. India does not have any dearth of skill or talent. What India’s craftsmen need is skill diversification, market linkages, and youth engagement.
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for making India the toy manufacturing hub of the world and called on youngsters, state governments, and organizations to help the craftsmen, artisans, etc in boosting the local economy. In this article, we would like to explore how skills and entrepreneurship can boost the Toy industry in India. This could be a major step in making Indian self-reliant by promoting our authentic crafts and contributing to Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Toy clusters in India
Wood and terracotta from Sambalpur in Odisha, clay toys from West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, terracotta toys from Tamil Nadu, wooden toys from Channapatna in Karnataka and Etikoppaka and Kondapalli in AP, and bamboo toys from Tripura, etc.
Source: National Productivity Council
Indigenous toys in education
As we see many kids attached to mobile phones, we need to find ways to shift their attention from phones to real toys. Learning and teaching with toys have many benefits for children. It promotes experiential learning as kids get to touch the toy and finish an unfinished project. Toys can be used to teach languages, maths, and even sciences. It speeds up language development and encourages teamwork, curiosity, and social interaction.
Overcoming the challenges faced by craftsmen and artisans
Most of the challenges that craftsmen and artisans are in terms of design and marketing. They can continue to make toys with old designs but that will not help anyone. Therefore, they should understand the market trends, and make themselves trained enough to compete with foreign players. Craftsmen and artisans need to diversify their skills, have market linkages through e-commerce sites, and have financial support, funding, and incubation support to grow and contribute to the country’s economy.
Related Article: Implementing Gandhian ideas for strengthening vocational and skill-based education in India – Read More: https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/implementing-gandhian-ideas-for-strengthening-vocational-and-skill-based-education-in-india/
Reviving the toy industry
Youngsters must be encouraged to get into the industry and revive it. They must take up the craft and hone the skill and help the craftsmen to improve upon their designs to make it relevant for the market. They are instances of youth coming forward and building the market linkages for the craftsmen of remote areas. Along with a potential market domestically, there is also a huge export potential for Indian toys. With more and more youth engagement, skills diversification, and entrepreneurship with helping us in reviving the toy industry and in bringing it a new dimension.