| New Delhi |
November 11, 2020 2:14:03 am
The Gujarat government plans to build the largest toy museum in the world, showcasing 11 lakh toys from across the country. To come up in Gandhinagar’s Gift City, the museum will be completed over the next three to five years at an estimated cost of Rs 1,500 crore.
According to sources, the project has been envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an aim to give a push to India’s homemade toy industry.
The Children’s University in Gandhinagar, which functions under the Gujarat Department of Higher Education, has been made the nodal agency for the project. The varsity has been tasked with developing toys as per “the values and traditions of ancient and modern India”.
The state has already granted Children’s University 30 acres at Gift City to expand its campus, of which around 8-10 acres is likely to be dedicated to the Toy Bhawan and Museum project. Once complete, the museum would be ticketed at a nominal rate.
Vice-Chancellor Harshad Shah told The Indian Express that the project is currently in the primary stage and work will start over the next two to three months. “Among the 11 lakh toys, there will be toys based on education, science, astronomy, language, history, culture and social science. However, there will be no guns or toys that promote violence, or even teddy bears, which propagate lethargy in children,” he said.
Shah said that Modi held a virtual meeting with him in August to discuss the concept, with four Union ministers — Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Smriti Irani and Ramesh Pokhriyal – also present. Later the PM in his next Mann Ki Baat programme laid focus on building toys in India to give a boost to Atmanirbhar Bharat, while reducing our dependence of foreign-manufactured toys.
The museum will focus on the history of India and important landmark moments through toys and tableaus — for instance, there will be sections dedicated to ISRO’s Gaganyaan project, EVM machines and the First War of Independence in 1857. With the help of DRDO, replicas of electronically-operated, battery-operated and solar-based rockets, Prithvi Missile, Agni Missile and satellites will also be displayed.
Shah said, “Presently, several Union ministries are very actively working and guiding us to frame this subject. They may extend their tangible and intangible support to us for completing this project.”
The state will also rope in hundreds of local artisans to build toys showcasing the traditions of India.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said, “Gujarat has been at the centre of industrial development in India and it’s our vision that the state contributes to the toy market as well. The state produces traditional toys and will contribute to the PM’s Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission with the largest toy museum in the world.”
At present, the largest toy museum in the world is the World’s Largest Toy Museum Complex, located in the US state of Missouri, which has over 10 lakh toys on display.
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