Lucknow, Sep 1 (IANS) The Yogi Adityanath government is planning to set up a ‘Toy City’ along the Yamuna Expressway in the state.
The decision to speed up the planning came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi batted for a local toy industry in his radio programme “Mann ki Baat’.
Uttar Pradesh does not have an established toy industry as such though toys from Jhansi have been included in the “One District One Product’ scheme.
Additional Chief Secretary MSME, Navneet Sehgal, said that around 70 entrepreneurs have shown interest in setting up toy units in the state. “We have even prepared a basic draft proposal for the same and are now working towards setting up a toy city,” he said.
Sources said that the state government would provide subsidised land under the MSME provisions and also make arrangements for the raw material needed for the toy industry.
The toy industry in the country is worth about Rs 10,000 crore and according to the International Market Analysis, Research and Consulting Group, Indian participation in the global toy industry is merely 0.5 per cent.
In the Indian market, the locally made toys account for merely 12 per cent. The majority of the toys are imported from China and other countries.
Varanasi, which is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency, is known for its wooden toys that have lost their sheen over the years.
Dr Rajnikant, a Padma Shri awardee who works for the conservation and promotion of traditional crafts, said, “Around 3,000 artisans, including craftsmen and craftswomen, earn their livelihood by making toys out of wood in Varanasi.”
He said that the wooden toys are exported to the US, Russia, Latin American countries, European countries, including Germany and Spain, several South-East Asian countries and the Gulf.
The craftsmen, however, feel that they lag behind when it comes to the promotion and advertising of their products.
Raghuveer, a toy maker, said, “What we need is an aggressive marketing policy to popularise our toys. The government should lend a helping hand because this cannot be done on an individual basis.”
The local artisans make traditional wooden toys, including wooden utensils, spinning top, small wooden birds and animals. They also carve many decorative items out of wood. These are especially used on the occasions of Shri Krishna Janmashtami and Deepawali.
Lacquerware and wooden toys made in Varanasi, Sonbhadra, Chandauli and Mirzapur got the Geographical Indication (GI) tag in 2015.