Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the efforts of toymaker CV Raju in reviving the venerable wooden lacquer craft toys at some point of his ‘Mann ki Baat’ deal with
Toymaker CV Raju from the tiny village of Etikopakka, shut to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, was in for a shock on Sunday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed his efforts in reviving the venerable wooden lacquer craft toys at some point of his ‘Mann ki Baat’ deal with.
About three a long time in the past, Raju — also an agriculturist — revived the demise art of creating wooden toys among the craft community of Etikopakka. He focussed on strengthening the worn, local records of creating vegetable dyes, rising contemporary tools and ways for rising their shelf existence and generating contemporary uses for them.
Says Raju, speaking over cellular phone from Etikoppaka, “It’s miles a mountainous enhance to us as a craft community to obtain recognised by the Prime Minister, especially at a time after we’re struggling amid the pandemic and also facing a threat of extinction.” He has been instrumental in bringing about a shift from the utilization of titanium dioxide bonded artificial colours to vegetable dyes in the wooden toys.
The tradition of toy-making in Etikoppaka dates abet about a hundred years. The toymakers got patronage from the prosperous landlords of the home abet then, to operate toys for his or her formative years.
Over the years, the system changed however the toymakers could now now not improvise great. The revival took role from 1988 onwards, when Raju began attending nationwide-diploma workshops and working with Crafts Council of India. He began with studying the utilization of vegetable dyes on fabric after which on wooden toys. He then explored the Eastern Ghats and the secret dyes in the vegetation’ roots, barks, stems, leaves, fruits and seeds.
His experiments resulted in pure dye concentrates in over 12 hues, including royal crimson and indigo. The toxicity take a look at on dyes was carried out by the Crafts Council of India. The contemporary utter of colours infused existence into the craft.
Then in 1992, for the principle time, toys with vegetable dyes made their system from Andhra Pradesh to Vadodara for a nationwide exhibition. Etikoppaka toys got the Geographical Indication (GI) imprint from the Geographical Indication Registry (GIR) in 2017.
The community nowadays has spherical 150 households who practise the craft produce. The wooden is sourced from in the community grown ankudu or Wrightia tinctoria trees. Ankudu plantations had been carried out on 60 hectares of degraded wooded space land from 1997 onwards by the Recount’s Forest Model Company. Nonetheless, after Chinese language toys invaded markets, the US and European countries enforced stricter rules that eroded their worldwide market for the Etikoppaka craftsmen.
Narendra Modi COVID and the craft
True thru the lockdown, the craftsmen struggled with unsold inventory and e-commerce helped little. “No postal and courier products and companies are willing to achieve abet to the village now. We require someone who can withhold our inventory in Visakhapatnam, from the build we can delivery delivering in the domestic market,” says Raju. Archiving, documentation and put improvisation are the need of the hour, he adds. “Organising an interpretation and deign vogue centre would abet in maintaining this venerable craft,” says the toymaker.
PM Modi’s demand making India the field’s toy manufacturing hub as share of the ‘vocal for local’ slogan has given a thrust to the craftsmen, who’re now hoping to obtain the mandated certification for declaring that the toys are stable (now now not containing toxic aspects). “Right here is the pre-requisite for marketing the toys to the US and Europe,” says Raju.
Raju will most certainly be reached on 9701057267.