In order to ensure safe fun for toddlers, toy manufacturers in India have embarked on a green drive by initiating a recycling process and the use of non-toxic raw materials.
“The department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) is ready to come up with guidelines for the industry in a month or two. We are trying to create awareness among small manufacturers of this unorganised sector now. We have already urged all our 600-odd members to adopt non-toxic materials only, and if possible, to recycle toys too,” said Raj Kumar, president of the Toy Association of India (TAI).
AI has recently launched its ‘We Care’ campaign especially for this.
The government move came after the Bombay High Court asked the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to frame a directive — which is now awaiting DIPP clearance — on the amount of phthalates permissible in toys.
The court directive came after a study by Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment showed that 45 per cent of the toys made in India contain dangerous phthalates. Regular exposure to phthalates — a group of chemicals — can cause asthma, skeletal defects, damage the male reproductive system and impair the lungs.
Though TAI demands include grant of special status for the industry among micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), a five-year dedicated programme to boost sales, further funds for skill development, research centres and subsidies, the buzzword among Indian toy manufacturers now is safety first and ‘We Care’.