Heptulla launches exhibit of wooden toys at BHU

Varanasi: Union Minister Najma Heptulla today launched an exhibit of products by artisans at Banaras Hindu University here in a bid to revive the traditional business of wooden toys.

The launch is an effort by the Centre to encourage local workers to produce “international quality” toys using non-poisonous colours so that children can use them without any harm, she said.

The Minority Affairs Minister said the works of local artisans from minority communities will be exposed to the world market through e-commerce portal shopclues.com under government’s Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development (USTTAD) scheme.

Heptulla today held a meeting with skilled workers in the toys business and also interacted with artisans engaged in making of Banarasi and Jamdani sarees and zardoji (hand embroidery) here.

In her day-long trip, she also held discussions with knowledge partners under the scheme such as National Institute of Design (NID), National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP) and master craftsmen and others on reviving the business.

USTTAD aims at capacity building and updating traditional skills of master craftsmen and artisans who, in turn, will train minority community members in various specific traditional crafts, especially local arts.