COE on Channapatana toys to come up at Mysuru varsity

COE on Channapatana toys to come up at Mysuru varsity

The centre will offer training to artisans and hone their skills invariousaspectsof thetoyindustry.DHFILEPHOTO

Lending a corporate brand touch to the traditional wooden toys of Channapatna and to pip the Chinese aggression in the market, the state government is all set to establish a centre of excellence(COE) for Channapattana toys at University of Mysore (UoM).

The idea of setting up a centre of excellence was mooted by the State Knowledge Commission and the Higher Education Department has readily accepted the idea and will commence the centre, starting from next academic year. 

Led by renowned scientist Dr K Kasturirangan, the Karnataka Knowledge Commission had submitted a slew of measures including the revival of toys’ art form at Channapatna. On Thursday, Dr Kasturirangan met Higher Education Minister G T Deve Gowda and held a detailed discussion on proposals. 

“Previously we had proposed several programmes to the department, in which the centre of excellence for Channapattana toys, was prominent. Today, the minister has given his nod for the project, and he intends to start the programme in Mysore University by the next academic year,” Mukund Rao, Secretary, State Knowledge Commission, told DH.

The centre at UoM would offer training to artisans and hone their skills in evolving creative designs, handling of machinery, marketing of toys and other aspects of the toy industry, according to him. 

“The centre will also work towards making these toys affordable and thereby curb the aggressive Chinese toy industry in Karnataka and other Indian markets. Prior to the launch, the officials will identify the problems at the industry-level and accordingly design a programme to be implemented from next year,” said Minister G T Deve Gowda. 

According to the Channapatna Crafts Park in-charge Sreekala Kadidal there are more than 2,500 people currently engaged in various handicraft work in the town. However, she said that the Crafts Park has no clue about the Centre to be set up at UoM.

Yet another firm, Maya Organic, which is working towards empowering women artisans, says if the centre comes to the rescue of artisans, then the purpose is served. Shrinivas, production in-charge (R&D), said, “Not many come forward to take up the work as it requires a lot of patience and determination. If the centre is able to turn around the situation it would do wonder for the product at the global level.”