Toyimports are down by 70 per cent and the country has the potential to become an export “powerhouse” in the segment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday during his “Mann Ki Baat” address.

Earlier, toys worth more than ₹3,000 crore used to be imported or come into the country.

However, now, India has exported toys worth more than ₹2,600 crore, as against earlier years when exports in the category were to the tune of ₹300-400 crore.

“And you already know that all this happened during the Corona period. India’s toy sector has proven its mettle by transforming itself. Indian manufacturers are now making toys based on Indian mythology, history, and culture. Toy clusters are there everywhere in the country, small entrepreneurs who make toys, are getting a lot of benefit from it. The toys made by these small entrepreneurs are now going around the world. Manufacturers are also working closely with the world’s leading global brands,” Modi said.

According to him, local toys in India are eco-friendly and consonant with both tradition and nature, and the achievement of the industry was previously unimaginable.

“Today, when it comes to Indian toys, the echo of Vocal for Local is being heard everywhere. You will also like to know that now the number of toys coming from abroad in India is continuously decreasing,” the Prime Minister maintained.

Modi mentioned Shumme Toys, a Bengaluru-based start-up, for its focus on eco-friendly toys, while Gujarat-based Arkidzoo Company found mention for the AR (augmented reality)-based flash cards and AR-based storybooks that it is making. The Pune-based company, Funvention – which tries to kindle children’s interest in science, technology, and mathematics through learning, toys, and activity puzzles., was also referred to during the address.

“Let us all together make Indian toys more popular all over the world. Along with this, I would also like to urge parents to buy more Indian toys, puzzles, and games,” he said.

AYUSH exports up

According to him, Ayush treatment has played a major role in the fight against Covid. This has led to an increase in exports. Meanwhile, the sector received investment proposals of ₹10,000 crore during a recent global investment summit.

“We all know how useful Indian traditional methods are in this. In the fight against Corona, AYUSH has played an important role at the global level. There is a growing interest in ayurveda and Indian medicine around the world. This is one of the major reasons why Ayush exports have witnessed record growth,” the PM said, adding that: “It is also a matter of joy that many new start-ups are also emerging in this sector.”

According to Modi, there has been an increase in research on medicinal plants during the Covid times and “many research studies are being published on this”.

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