To promote indigenous toy industry and reduce imports, the Centre has launched Toycathon-2021, a special kind of hackathon where students and teachers from schools and colleges, design experts, toy experts and start-ups will get together to crowdsource ideas for developing toys and games that are based on Indian culture, ethos, folklores, heroes and value systems.
“Toycathon-2021 is being organised to develop India as the global toy manufacturing hub,” said Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal at the launch on Tuesday. Six Ministries, including education, women & child development, textile, commerce and industries, MSME, I&B and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) are part of the initiative.
The Minister pointed out that the size of the toy market in India was about $1 billion but unfortunately 80 per cent of the toys were imported, according to an official release. The launch of Toycathon, is an effort to create an ecosystem for the domestic toy industry and the local manufacturers, tapping the untapped
The ‘Toycathon’ is based on nine themes including Indian culture, history, knowledge of India and ethos; learning, education and schooling; social and human values; occupations & specific fields; environment; divyang; fitness and sport; out of the box, creative and logical thinking and rediscovering/redesigning traditional Indian toys, the release stated.
“This is the first time when school children will innovate, design and conceptualise toys also for specially abled ‘divyang children’,” said Minister for Women & Child Development and Textiles Smriti Irani. Students and faculty members participating in Toycathon can get prizes up to ₹50 lakh, she added.
The ‘Toycathon’ will have three variants of tracks — Junior Level, Senior Level and Startup Level — and will allow participation of students and teachers from schools, colleges and universities, apart from start-ups and toy experts, the release said. Participants will have two options for idea submission. They can either submit ideas for the published problem statements or under novel toy concepts category.