Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 30 lauded the Indian toy industry for achieving the success "no one could have imagined", noting that its export has soared to ₹2,600 crore from ₹300-400 crore.
When it comes to Indian toys, the echo of 'vocal for local' is being heard everywhere, he said in his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' broadcast.
He said toys worth more than Rs 3,000 crore used to be imported but it has reduced by 70%.
"It is a matter of joy that during this period, India has exported toys worth more than ₹2,600 crore to foreign countries. Whereas earlier, only toys worth ₹300-400 crore used to go out of India. All this happened during the Corona period," Mr. Modi said.
He noted that he had earlier spoken about India having the potential to become a powerhouse in exports of toys.
Local toys of India are eco-friendly, consonant with both tradition and nature, he said.
"Due to our youngsters, start-ups and entrepreneurs, what our toy industry has achieved, the successes we have achieved, no one could have imagined," he added.
The prime minister said India's toy sector has proven its mettle by transforming itself, with manufacturers now making toys based on Indian mythology, history and culture.
Toy clusters are there everywhere in the country, and small entrepreneurs are getting a lot of benefit from it as their toys are now going around the world, he said.
Toy manufacturers from India are working closely with the world's leading brands, he said.
Noting that the start-up sector is paying full attention to the world of toys, he said a start-up named Shumme Toys in Bangalore is focusing on eco-friendly toys while Arkidzoo Company in Gujarat is making AR-based flash cards and story books.
Pune-based Funvention is engaged in kindling the interest of children in science, technology and maths through learning, toys and activity puzzles, he said, adding that start-ups are doing a great job.
"Let us all together make Indian toys more popular all over the world. Along with this, I would also like to urge the parents to buy more and more Indian toys, puzzles and games," he said.
In his speech, the prime minister also highlighted the growing global interest in India's traditional forms of medicine as the fight against COVID-19 continues.
He said the increasing interest of people in holistic healthcare has helped everyone a lot.
"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 a record growth and it is also a matter of joy that many new start-ups are also emerging in this sector," he said.
Recently, a global Ayush Investment and Innovation Summit was held, and investment proposals of about ₹10,000 crore rupees had been received, he said.
He added that a huge effort is also being made in the field of varied medicinal plants and herbs.
The Indian Virtual Herbarium was launched in the month of July, and it is an example of how digital world can be used to connect with our roots, he said.