Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated The India Toy Fair-2021 via video conferencing, here today. The India Toy Fair-2021 is a first-of-its-kind initiative that aims to bring together all stakeholders of the Indian toy industry on a virtual platform to create sustainable linkages and promote dialogue for the holistic development of the industry.  The Toy Fair is being held on virtual/digital platform at from 27th February to 2nd March, 2021. More than 1,000 exhibitors are participating in the Toy Fair.  Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Shri Nitin Gadkari and Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Textiles and Women & Child Development Smt Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harshvardhan also participated in the event.

In his address, 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 AtmaNirbhar Bharat. This first toy fair is not just a business or economic event but it is a link to strengthen the country’s age-old culture of sports and games, he added. He said the world has done research on toys from the era of  Indus valley civilization, Mohenjo-Daro to Harappa. When foreign travellers came to India, they used to learn Indian sports and used to take it with them. He said this toy fair is one such platform where one can discuss toy design, innovation, technology, Marketing and packaging and also share experiences.

The Prime Minister said toys contribute to the all-round development of children. He said way of reuse and recycling have been a part of the Indian lifestyle. Most Indian toys are made from natural and eco-friendly items, the colours 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 urged them to use such things that can be recycled and use less plastic.

The Prime Minister said the creative toys develop the senses of kids and give wings to their imaginations. 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. Indian toys not only entertain, but also teach us scientific theories. ‘Lattu’ teaches us gravity and balance, ‘Gullel’ teaches us potential and kinetic energy. He said in this direction, the Government has taken effective steps and brought changes through the New National Education Policy (NEP).  The Prime Minister said the NEP 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 added.

The Prime Minister mentioned that the country has now graded the toy industry in 24 major sectors and a National Toy Action Plan has also been prepared. He said 15 ministries and departments have been included in it to make these industries competitive and make our country self-reliant in toys. He said we are working on developing toy clusters so that our local toys can go global and help us build Atmanirbhar Bharat. He informed that throughout this campaign, State governments have been made an equal partner in developing the toy clusters. He also said that efforts are being made to strengthen the possibilities of toy tourism.

In her welcome address, Union Minister of Textiles and Women and Child Development, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani referred to the Mann ki Baat address of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, in August 2020, which inspired to boost the Indian toy manufacturing Industry with the support of indian citizens, especially the students and teachers under AtmaNirbhar Bharat campaign. The minister mentioned that in line with the Prime Minister’s vision, the Ministry of Education organised the first ever Toycathon in which around 1,29,000 students from across the country, Educational institutions and Startups participated in support of Indian Toy Industry. She said that it is Prime Minister’s inspiration and direction that has led to the first ever India Toy Fair to promote the local Toy industry. Smt. Irani further informed that the Toy Fair will see pavilions by 11 partner States and 100 speakers including experts and industry specialists and global industry leaders who are proud to partner with Indian Toy industry. The minister also mentioned that, so far, 21 lakh people have registered for the virtual Toy Fair, a global playground which is serviced by Indian Toy industry.

The Prime Minister also interacted with toy makers from Channapatna in Karnataka, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, and Jaipur in Rajasthan. The Artisans shared with Prime Minister their journey and experiences of making indigenous toys to capture the imagination of children.