I really enjoyed listening to you and I am happy that today our fellow ministers Piyush ji, Sanjay ji, and others are also with us. Friends who are participating in Toycathon from all over the country, other dignitaries and those who are watching this program today …
It is said in our country: 'साहसे खलु श्री: वसति' i.e., in courage alone, there is prosperity. Organizing the country's first Toycathon in these challenging times only reinforces this spirit. All of you from our childhood friends to young friends, teachers, start-ups and entrepreneurs have participated with great enthusiasm in this Toycathon. The participation of more than 1,500 teams in the Grand Finale for the first time indicates a bright future. It also strengthens the AtmaNirbhar campaign in terms of toys and games. Some very good ideas have emerged in this Toycathon. I also got the opportunity to interact with some of my friends. I congratulate you once again for this.
In the last 5-6 years, hackathons have been turned into big platforms to find the solutions to the problems of the country. The idea behind this is to channelize the country's potential. The endeavor is to connect our youth directly with the challenges and solutions of the country. When this connection becomes strong, the talent of our youth power also comes to the fore and the country also gets better solutions. This is also the purpose of the country's first Toycathon. I remember I appealed to young colleagues for self-reliance and local solutions in the field of toys and digital gaming. Its positive response is being seen in the country. Although some people also feel that why is there a need for such serious discussion about toys? In fact, these toys and games impact our mental strength, creativity and economy and many such aspects. Therefore, it is equally important to talk about these issues. We all know that if a child's first school is the family, then these toys are his first book and first friend. The first communication of the child with the society takes place through these toys. You must have noticed that children keep talking to the toys, instructing them, getting them to do some work because that is the beginning of their social life in a way. Similarly, these toys and board games gradually become an important part of their school life as well and become a medium of learning and teaching. Apart from this, there is another huge aspect related to toys, which everyone needs to know. This is the economy of the world of toys and gaming – Toyconomy. The global toy market is about $ 100 billion and India's share is only around $ 1.5 billion. Today we import about 80 percent of our toys from abroad. That is, crores of rupees are siphoning out of the country on these toys. It is very necessary to change this situation. And it is not just a matter of statistics, but this sector has the potential to deliver development to that section of the country, to that part of the country, where it is most needed right now. Our cottage industry related to sports, which is our art, and our poor, Dalit and tribal artisans live in large numbers in the villages. With very limited resources, these colleagues have been molding our tradition and culture in their toys with their finest art. In this regard, especially our sisters and daughters are playing a huge role. The development of the toy sector will immensely benefit such women, our tribal and poor friends living in far-flung areas of the country. But this is possible only when we will be vocal for our local toys. It is necessary to be vocal for locals and we will provide encouragement at every level to improve them so as to make them competitive in the global market. Therefore, it is very important to develop new models from innovation to financing. It is important to incubate every new idea. It is also necessary to promote new start-ups and prepare our artists involved in the traditional art of toys for new technology and new market demands. This is the idea behind events like Toycathon.
Cheap data and the boom in the Internet are digitally connecting our villages today. In such a situation, along with physical games and toys, India's prospects and potential in virtual, digital and online gaming are increasing rapidly. But the concept of most of the online or digital games that are available in the market today is not Indian; it does not match with our attitude. You also know that the concepts of many such games either promote violence or cause mental stress. Therefore, it is our responsibility to design such alternative concepts which reflect the basic philosophy of India which is related to the overall human welfare. It should be technically superior and the elements of fun and fitness should also be encouraged. I can see it clearly that right now we have plenty of content and competence required for Digital Gaming. We can clearly see this power of India in the Toycathon also. The ideas selected in this Toycathon also have concepts that make mathematics and chemistry easier, as well as ideas that strengthen the value-based society. Your concept of I Cognito Gaming assimilates the same power of India. It is a great endeavor to present a new gaming solution to the world by combining VR and AI technology with Yoga. Similarly, board games related to Ayurveda are also a wonderful amalgamation of the old and the new. As the youth pointed out during a conversation just now that this competitive game can go a long way in taking Yoga far and wide in the world.
Today the world is very eager to understand the current potential, the art and culture, the society of India. Our toys and gaming industry can play a big role in this. My request to every young innovator and start-up is to keep in mind one thing. You also have the responsibility of presenting a true picture of both the idea of India and the potential of India before the world. You also have the responsibility to enrich our eternal spirit from Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat (One India, Supreme India) to Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (World is one family). Today, when the country is celebrating 75 years of independence, it is a huge occasion for all the innovators and creators associated with toys and gaming. There are many such stories related to the freedom movement, which need to be brought to the fore. Many events of the valour and leadership of our revolutionaries and fighters can be modeled as concepts of toys and games. You are also a strong link connecting the folk of India with the future. That's why it is important that our focus should be on developing such toys and games which brief our young generation every aspect of Indianness in an interesting and interactive way. We have to ensure that our toys and games also engage, entertain and educate people. The country has high hopes from young innovators and creators like you. I am sure that you will definitely succeed in your goals and make your dreams come true. Once again, I congratulate and wish you all for the successful conduct of this Toycathon.