At a time when the Indian government is motivating the country to “speak up for the local” and reduce reliance on foreign products, Indian toy makers are first asking for a helping hand.
They say the industry needs substantial support to even think about meeting the domestic demand for toys.
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âAlthough we fully support and support Indian products, we are not ready to meet India’s demand for toys. India currently manufactures only 15% of its total toy demand. It imports the rest of it. ‘other countries. If we do not increase our production capacities and build an arsenal of toys now, we risk facing anarchy, where children would have nothing but board games, ” said Rehan Dhorajiwala, spokesperson for the All India Toys Federation (AITF).
AITF is the supreme body of toy manufacturers, traders and sellers in India.
The industry they represent was pegged at Rs 3,500-4,500 crore as of June 2019. On that request, they claim India only produces 12-13% of toys in the country.
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The remaining share comes from international brands like Mattel, Fischer Price and others, which mainly manufacture in countries like China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Dhorajiwala highlighted the current crisis in the industry – domestic producers cannot provide an alternative to imports. âAlthough the government has announced many initiatives to develop the Indian toy industry in recent years, we do not see a corresponding increase in supply. Next, we ask the Ministries of Trade and Industry to help boost production and logistics so that we can improve the sales and distribution of locally made toys, without impacting the needs of Indian children, âDhorajiwala added.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, India imports less than 0.15% of its total toy imports. The importance of toys to the country is more essential than any other product imported into India, the department said. The current Covid-19 pandemic, which has completely shut down international trade, has left parents without many toy options. Newly reopened stores, retailers and wholesalers only work with existing stock.
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Toys are not just commodities, but play a much bigger role in the development of our future generations. They stimulate the imagination, mental growth and allow a child to understand, interact and connect with the world around him. Thus, they should have the same status as an essential commodity, especially when most of the children will remain locked up at home until we are able to weather the Covid-19 crisis.