Society

Toys for hire

How does the idea of a toy library sound? The best part is that, apart from the fact that you get new ones every week without too much of a dent on your budget, you get to keep your house tidy and clutter-free. It really is an answer to some prayers.

Popular elsewhere in the country, Kochi got its first ‘Khilonewala’ at Ponnekara recently. Khilonewala is a toy library, which for a subscription, will give you access to more toys and other entertainment materials for kids than you or the kids can imagine. The brain child of Indore-based businessman Bharat Jain and his brother Abhishek Jain, it is an answer for those living in space starved times, where extra storage is a luxury. “Every parent wants their kid to have the best toys to play with and sometimes these are too expensive…that’s when we thought of the library,” says Bharat, who was in town for the promotion of the franchise.

The brothers set up the first library in 2011 in their hometown, before they ventured into the franchisee model a couple of years back. “We took time expanding as we wanted to consolidate our position in our hometown and home State before venturing out. I wouldn’t call ourselves the first, but we are number one in the business today. We have delivered more than 60,000 kits,” he says with pride. The inventory, he adds, is constantly updated.

Today, Khilonewala has franchises in more than 20 cities across the country. One would imagine dog-eared books and broken toys, but it is not so. Close attention is paid to the condition of the materials, the toys and books are well-maintained. It is not just toys, games and books; there are a variety of CDs (games and educational) too. “We have ensured that we have the best quality non-toxic toys from well-known brands such as Fisher Price, Funskool and others. So are the books,” he adds. The company supplies the products to the franchisee.

Khilonewala offers membership plans that vary from monthly, quarterly, half yearly and yearly plans in three categories. The fees depend on the subscription plan; you can register on paying Rs. 500. The toys will also be packed, home delivered and collected too. Of course, you need to make the trip to the library to select the toys. A subscription gives you access to a fixed number of toys, books and CDs; the plans are, however, flexible.

As parent, a concern would be hygiene given that the number of hands would be exchanged. That concern too is addressed, says Gangadhara Menon, the franchisee at Ponekkara, “Once the toys are returned, they are cleaned up before it is put back on for circulation.”

For details contact: 72936 34743



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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 11:26:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/kochi-gets-its-first-toy-library-khilonewala/article8451543.ece

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