Efforts made by I.I.T.(BHU) to help the manufacturers of wooden toy cluster of Varanasi

Varanasi, the cultural center of India, is also rich in the craft of toy making. Wooden toy making is a traditional craft in Varanasi called Kashi Kath Kari. This industry is believed to have a 400-year of history in the city. Bright and colourful lacquered toys are made by clusters of skilled craftsmen, who have been passing on the craft from one generation to the next. According to the craftsmen, their ancestors specialized in ivory carving that enjoyed good patronage during the reign of the Mughal emperors and the British rulers. After ivory was banned by the Government of India, they shifted to woodcarving. These wooden toys are made without any joints. They are attractive and harmless playthings for children. Religious and cultural themes are mostly used for making toys. Traditional and modern themes are used, blending the present and past culture and tradition of India. Toys made are very durable and offer joys for generations.
Following efforts made by I.I.T.(BHU) that may be useful to the manufacturers of wooden toy cluster
(A) Opening up the DIC makers Space for artisians:
I.I.T.(BHU) has already created a maker’s space inside the main workshop of I.I.T.(BHU). The following facilities have also been added to the maker’s space.
i. CNC Laser cutting and engraving machine
ii. Plasma cutting machine
iii. 3D printing machine
iv. Wood working tools and equipment
v. Other small miscellaneous tools and equipment


This newly created space and equipment would be extensively used by the students, staff and faculty members of institute and would be open to the local artisans, enterprises and entrepreneurs. The facility being created can be used for following purposes:-
(1) Design of new educational and recreational toys to be made in wood.
Currently the variety of recreational toys is few in number and lacks in variety. Therefore, they are not appealing to our children. Simple principles of physics can be used to design new toys that are educational as well as recreational for children. Projects can be floated to the students of I.I.T.(BHU), to use their knowledge of science and technology and come with physical models of toys that are based on principles of Physics. These models can be translated into wooden toys by the talented craftsmen of the toy clusters of Varanasi.
(2) Prototype making by artisans involved in making wooden toys.
The artisans have been working on making wooden toys since generations but are hesitant in trying new ideas as they are not sure how it would look like in final shape and how it can be manufactured cheaply. The artisans can work in the maker’s space and make prototypes of their newly conceived toys. The faculty and staff of I.I.T.(BHU) can help them in development of manufacturing scheme for these new toys.
(B) Inviting proposals from the students and faculty related to toys:
Students would be encouraged to come up with innovative designs of toys, particularly the toys made of wood. It is also expected that projects would be floated by the faculty members that would be aimed at development of new educational and recreational toys. Willing students can stay back in the summer vacation and work on these projects. The expenditure for the projects and the living expense would have to be reimbursed.

(C) Need identification from the local toy industry:
Workshops would be conducted where the local artisans, entrepreneurs and enterprises would be invited to have an interaction with the faculty, staff and students of I.I.T.(BHU) .
(D) Development of new prototype toys:
The successful ideas of new and improved toys would be selected and efforts would be made to develop the manufacturing methods for the development of these toys
(E) Technology transfer to the local artisans and the entrepreneurs:
The toys developed would be transferred to the local artisans, entrepreneurs and enterprises so that they can use them for production and marketing.
(F) Other efforts made by I.I.T.(BHU)
I.I.T.(BHU), Varanasi is working in close coordination with the Branch office of DI, M/o MSME and have already initiated a dialog with the wooden toy making cluster of Varanasi. The Institute has participated in the following programs:-
(1) Industrial Motivational Campaign for Toys Cluster
An Industrial Motivational Campaign for Toys Cluster was organized at Branch office of DI, M/o MSME, Chandpur Industrial estate, Varanasi. The program was attended by more than 50 artisans. In the program a motivational lecture was given by faculty member of the institute, wherein the artisans were motivated to develop new designs of toys.




(2) Awareness Program on Safety & Standard related to various type of Toys & Games
An awareness Program on Safety & Standard related to various type of Toys & Games was held in collaboration with Branch office of DI, M/o MSME on 26.02.2021 (Friday). Faculty members talked about safety in design, safety in electrical and electronics and safety in paints used.




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