Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday called upon start-ups and entrepreneurs to work towards promotion of the indigenous toy industry.
In his monthly radio address, Mann ki Baat, he also called for promoting indigenous dog breeds.
Pointing out that India had a “very little” share in the global toy market of Rs 7 lakh crore, he said, “Now, just spare a thought for a nation which has so much of heritage, tradition, variety, young population, will it feel good to have such little share in the toy market? Not at all… .”
He called upon “start-up friends” and “new entrepreneurs” to “team up for toys…” and said it is time to “get vocal for local toys”.
The Prime Minister said that in the National Education Policy, “a lot of attention has been given on the impact of toys on different aspects of children’s lives”. He said toys “augment activity: and also “give flight to our aspirations”. “I read somewhere what Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore had said about toys, the best toy is that which is incomplete; a toy that children together complete while playing,” he said.
The Prime Minister said he had held deliberations with Children University of Gandhinagar and ministries of Women and Child Development, Education and Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises on how India can become a big hub of toy production. “There has been a rich tradition of local toys in our country… Some parts of India are developing also as toy clusters… Like, Channapatna in Ramanagara in Karnataka, Kondaplli in Krishna in Andhra Pradesh, Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, Dhubri in Assam, Varanasi in UP…,” he said.
Referring to computer games, he said the themes of these games are currently “mostly extraneous”. “Our country has so many ideas, so many concepts; our history has been very rich. Can we make games based on that? I call upon the young talent of the country — make games in India and make games based on India too,” he said.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a swipe at the Prime Minister’s comments on the toy industry. Referring to the protests against holding NEET and JEE (Main) exams amid the pandemic, Rahul tweeted, “JEE-NEET aspirants wanted the PM do ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’ but the PM did ‘Khilone Pe Charcha’.”
Urging people to consider bringing home Indian breeds the next time they think of raising a pet dog, the Prime Minister said, “Among the Indian breeds, Mudhol Hound and Himachali Hound are of excellent pedigree. Rajapalayam, Kanni, Chippiparai and Kombai are fabulous Indian breeds. They cost less to raise and are better adapted to the Indian environment and surroundings.”
“At a time when Atmanirbhar Bharat is becoming a mantra of the people, how can any domain be left untouched by its influence?”, he asked.
Modi recalled contributions of Indian Army dogs Sophie and Vida. “Sophie and Vida… have been awarded the Chief of Army Staff ‘Commendation Cards’. They received this honour because they performed their duties diligently while protecting their country. Our armed forces and security forces have many such brave dogs who not only live for the country but also sacrifice themselves for the country. Such canines have played a very important role in thwarting blasts and terror conspiracies,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the government’s Aatma Nirbhar Bharat App innovation challenge saw around 7,000 entries “of which nearly two thirds” were from “youth of tier II and tier III cities”. “This is a very auspicious indication for self-reliant India, for future of the country…,” he said.
The PM said nourishment plays a big role in children being able to fulfil their potential and said September will be observed as Nutrition Month.
He said the government was setting up an Agricultural Fund of India which will have information about crops grown in each district and their nutritional value.
Reminding that the country will celebrate the 75th year of Independence in 2022, he said, “It is imperative that today’s generation, our students remain familiar with heroes of freedom struggle… When our students are apprised of the history of the freedom struggle viz-a-viz their local surroundings — only then will we see the reverberations of it on the personality of the student.”
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