This refers to ‘Toy story’ (August 8). To energise toys from India, we need an enabling support grid for financial, marketing and technical assistance to the toy sector, an enabling infrastructure, and policies that ensure child safety. Else, the products may witness loss of reputation and market-share.
In fact, the Toys Quality Control Order came into force only on September 1, 2020, and some six standards on specific toys were brought in as late as 2017. With the global market for toys projected to touch $120 billion by 2025, we need to Indian toys more attractive to the world.
Thanks to the geopolitical situation, India now has a splendid opportunity to become one of the biggest toy suppliers of the world. Machine-made toys are not our forte and, therefore, we must concentrate more on supplying the handcrafted variety to Western nations.
It has been observed that many of our machine-made toys are not of best quality — the finish is missing.
This may be acceptable in local market where pricing is the main factor, but would not be acceptable in international markets which are willing to pay top dollar for quality products.
Making attractive toys from waste would serve a double purpose. It would be a good idea to have a research and development centre to help the manufacturers make quality toys at optimum costs.
Apropos ‘Multiple bids in for Sterlite plant: Anil Agarwal’ (August 8). The allegation of Vedanta Chairman pointing to certain foreign NGOs scuttling Indian industrial development by promoting imports over manufacture is startling and it is time such attempts are thwarted.
Although it is the responsibility of prospective buyers to get a nod from the apex court to reopen the plant closed in 2018 mainly over environmental issues, what is baffling is why cannot the existing management be allowed to reopen with the same conditions? Unless, of course, the plan is to use the copper plant for an entirely different purpose.
Halekere Village, Karnataka
This refers to ‘Food waste in any form is not palatable’ (August 8). It is highly worrisome to learn wasted food happens to be the biggest category of waste dumped in landfills and the third largest source of greenhouse emissions. As revealed in the Food Waste Index Report 2021, 50 kg of food is wasted per person annually in Indian homes even as hunger has also been identified as serious and the Global Hunger Index 2021 ranked India at 101 out of a total 116 countries.
This calls for some immediate and honest introspection on the part of those who indulge in the mindless wastage of food.
Probably, adopting the Brazil model may be a good idea, where leftover food in malls is not allowed to be wasted but gainfully utilised as manure for growing vegetables on their rooftops.
However, it is encouraging to learn that some NGOs in India have started getting in touch with the managements of banquet halls, asking them to hand over the leftover food for onward distribution amongst the most needy.
Barring a few, hotels/restaurants do not think twice about dumping extra food into bins. It is another matter that buyers have paid for the food. Resources like water and fertilisers that have been used in making the food, and arresting the waste must be prioritised.
Wastages occur at every stage — during production, storage, handling and cooking. Mechanising the planting and weeding process and in spreading of fertilisers and pesticides in farms could help arrest the resource wastage. Using quality materials for storing the grains not only reduces wastage during handling but also during transportation.
Establishing a large number of food-processing centres locally would not only help in producing value-added items, but also reduce the wastage that creeps in during the storage process.