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Varanasi: Efforts are being made to introduce an element of Indian culture in toys and games.

Training will be given by design professionals on topics like the introduction of Indian culture in toy and games, improving the play factor in toy and games, developing and manufacturing; marketing and intellectual property etc.

Dr Manish Arora, an assistant professor of the faculty of Visual Arts in the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), is one of the trainers of the 'Toycathon 2021', for which an online nationwide training camp was recently organised.

Arora, who is also the convener of the Institute's Innovation Cell-BHU, said that faculties from the leading institutions of the country including Austin Davis of National Institute of Design, Bikram Pal of Shrishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology will train the participants.

Apart from the faculties, participants will also be trained by industry experts and independent artists, he said.

Arora said that today India's toy market is estimated to be around $1.5 billion, however, a large part of it is dominated by imported toys.

Despite India being the originator of world-renowned games like Chess, Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, India is not one of the leading manufacturers of toys.

Most of the toys sold nationally, and globally, do not represent the Indian heritage, civilisation and value systems.

Keeping this in mind, 'Toycathon-2021' has been conceived under the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan' launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Toycathon-2021 is an inter-ministerial initiative organised by the Innovation Cell of the Ministry of Education in collaboration with All India Council for Technical Education, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of MSME, Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Its main objective is to develop the concept of games and toys based on Indian civilisation, history, culture, mythology and ethos, to challenge the innovative minds of the young citizens of India for innovation in the production of games and toys.

He said that in order to make India self-reliant in the field of toys, Toycathon-2021 is providing an opportunity for students, teachers, start-ups and toy experts/professionals of India to present their innovative toys and game concepts.

A provisional prize money estimated up to Rs 50 lakhs has also been designated for this scheme.

Arora said that the Innovation Cell of the Ministry of Education has planned to accelerate the manufacture and production of sports toys in the country, in which the faculty of Visual Arts of Banaras Hindu University would be involved in training the participants from all over the country.

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