New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday (February 27, 2021) inaugurated the 'India Toy Fair 2021' and said that it is a major step towards building an Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India).
Addressing the video conferencing event, Prime Minister Modi 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."
PM Modi said that this toy fair is one such platform where one can discuss toy design, innovation, technology, marketing and packaging and also share their experiences.
Speaking at The India Toy Fair 2021. Watch. https://t.co/2mlOE6eQir
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 27, 2021
The Prime Minister also interacted with toymakers from Channapatna in Karnataka, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, and Jaipur in Rajasthan.
He said the world has done research on toys from the era of Indus Valley civilization, Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. The Prime Minister also recalled that in ancient times, when travellers 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' and modern Ludo was then played as 'Pachisi'.
He said in the Indian scriptures, it was described that Bal Ram had a lot of toys and 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," said PM Modi.
He stated that 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," said PM Modi and stressed the need to change this situation.
PM Modi highlighted that the country has now graded the toy industry in 24 major sectors and a 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.
Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Nitin Gadkari and Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani also participated in the event.
As per Prime Minister's Office, 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.