Updated on 24 Jun 2021, 4:17 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday singled out the contribution of women in the toy industry and said India needs to be vocal for local toys.
Speaking at a virtual interaction with participants of Toycathon 2021 on Thursday, the prime minister highlighted the importance of toys as the "first friend" of children and termed the economic aspect of toys and gaming “Toyconomy”.
Modi said that in the last five-six years, youth of the nation have been connected with the key challenges of the country through the platform of Hackathons. Thinking behind this is to organize the capabilities of the country and to give them a medium, he said.
The prime minister said that the global toy market is about $100 billion and India has only 1.5 per cent of this market. India imports almost 80 per cent of its toys. This means that crores of rupees are being drained out of the country. This needs to change, he said, adding that this sector has the capacity to bring progress and growth to the neediest segments of society.
Pointing out that the toy industry has its own small-scale industry, artisans comprising rural population, dalits, poor people and tribal population, the prime minister singled out the contribution of women in the sector.
“In order to take the benefits to these segments, we need to be vocal for local toys,” he said.
Calling for new models of innovation and financing to make Indian toys competitive at the global level, the prime minister said, “There is a need for new ideas to be incubated, new start-ups promoted, taking new technology to traditional toy makers and creating new market demand. This is the inspiration behind events like Toyacathon”.
Referring to the cheap data and growth of Internet-led rural connectivity, the prime minister called for exploration of possibilities in virtual, digital and online gaming in India.
Modi rued the fact that most of the online and digital games available in the market are not based on Indian concepts and many such games promote violence and cause mental stress.
“The world wants to learn about India’s capabilities, art and culture, and society. Toys can play a big role in that. India has ample content and competence for digital gaming,” he said.
Calling upon young innovators and start ups to be mindful of their responsibility of projecting the true picture of India’s capabilities and ideas to the world, Modi mentioned that the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence is a huge opportunity for the innovators and creators of the toy industry.
“Many incidents, stories of our freedom fighters and their valour and leadership can be created into gaming concepts. These innovators have a big role in connecting ‘folk with the future’. There is a need to create interesting and interactive games that ‘engage, entertain and educate’,” the prime minister added.
Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Sanjay Dhotre were also present on the occasion, the PMO said in a release.