Update: 09 Apr 2021 10:04 AM STI
Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India], April 9 (ANI): Varanasi’s wooden toy industry experiences ‘Acche Din’ as sales increase after Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned the industry on his monthly radio show ‘Mann Ki Baat’ in September of last year.
Varanasi, Prime Minister Modi’s parliamentary constituency, is a hub for handcrafted wooden toys in the Kashmiriganj Khojwan region.
In “Mann Ki Baat”, Prime Minister Modi called on start-up entrepreneurs to “team up for toys”, saying it was time to “make your voice heard” for local toys.
“The wooden toy industry was facing a crisis after the lockdown. But the Prime Minister’s mention of the industry to Mann Ki Baat not only boosted sales but also the morale of craftsmen,” said a trader. local during an interview with the ANI.
The trader said there are around 4,500 artisans in Varanasi who make wooden toys.
These wooden toys are now getting a makeover to follow the global market. They are now presented in a design and electric “avatar”.
Speaking about the changes and new trends, a wooden toy store owner said, “Before, toys were inspired by mythological characters and were manually operated, but now the models have undergone a lot of changes and are very varied. new, these toys are battery operated. Therefore, their sales have increased not only in the domestic market, but also in the world.
“Although exports have halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the past year, domestic consumption has increased significantly. The reason for this is the modernization of toys which has led the wooden toy industry to rise to international standards. “, added a manufacturer of wooden toys.
“The demand for wooden toys definitely increased after Modi Ji’s approval,” added an artist while dexterously shaping a piece of wood into a toy.
According to a winner Padma Shri, Rajnikant, who works for the conservation and promotion of traditional crafts, these wooden toys are exported to the United States, Russia, Latin American countries, European countries, including the ‘Germany and Spain, several countries in Southeast Asia. and the Gulf, and are also in demand in various states across the country.
He added that lacquerware and wooden toys made in Varanasi, Sonbhadra, Chandauli and Mirzapur were granted the Geographical Indication (GI) label in 2015.
Recent initiatives by the Center have helped revive the wooden toy industry. Under Aatmanirbhar Bharat’s vision, the government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi included the city’s centuries-old wooden toy industry as part of the campaign.
In order to encourage the country’s toy industry, the central government held a virtual toy exhibition – India Toy Fair 2021 – from February 27 to March 2 this year.
The state government has also included the Varanasi toy industry in its One District One Product (ODOP) policy, which aims to connect the city’s craftsmanship with national and international markets to breathe new life into the city. industry and generate employment opportunities. The Center has also included the industry in its similar policy which works at the national level. (ANI)