Varanasi and Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh are famous for their wooden lacquer items and wooden toys. The designs are created with the natural grain of the wood. These toys are made without joints and are attractive and safe toys for children. The artisans here claim to belong to the Kunder Kharadi Samaj.
Wooden toys made in Kashi are unique in design and diversity. Wooden toys about mythological characters are also made here. The craftsmen also make beautiful masks, which are used by the actors of Ramleela. In addition, toys such as ghunghuna, jhunjhuna, different birds, horses, elephants, chariots and many more are made of wood.
The art of making wooden toys includes spherical, diametrical, cylindrical and also traditional toys: religious items, pencil holders, vermilion case, gods and goddesses, animals, birds and boxes are included. Here, some 3,000 toy manufacturers work by slouching, polishing, chiseling, carving, cutting and bending wood on a lathe. According to him, a common facilities centre equipped with a training center for the diversification of wooden toy designs, a raw material warehouse and a suitable packaging center should be set up in Kashi so that craftsmen are aware of current international and national trends. He attributes not only his own success but also that of the wooden toy manufacturing industry of Varanasi to Godawari.
Previously, almost 50 pieces of toys were made in one day, but today only 15-20 pieces are prepared due to improper power supply. Another reason for its popularity is the city's rich handicraft industry, which includes wooden toys that take shape in the small workshops that dot the busy Khojwan neighborhood. Insufficient energy supply has also greatly affected the business by worsening toy production. Typically, toys are made to order for exporters and retailers, but some are displayed for sale in their showrooms.
This is expected to help the toy business back down and surely increase demand and the toy market could progress as Indian and foreign visitors tend to visit the show. Singh started working on wooden electric toys last November and managed to operate the wooden train engine on a battery. The manufacture of wooden toys is a craft that requires not only mastery of the lathe, but also meticulous attention to detail and expert craftsmanship to carve intricate designs on products. Using the platform of the Khilauna Udyog Sahkari Samiti (Committee of Toy Industry Workers) established by his grandfather Godawari, who was awarded nationally in 1953, Uday documented the information of the various craftsmen and requested their artisan cards.
Division Commissioner Varanasi Deepak Agarwal said: “A concrete plan has been made to promote the export of wooden toys and other handicraft items made in Kashi. Carving wonders out of wood, they continue the legacy of making their toys in various colors and sizes a metaphor, perhaps, for the varying degrees of hope that continue to shape the craft community. The reason for this is the modernization of toys that has led the wooden toy industry to reach international standards, added a wooden toy manufacturer. Because of all these serious problems, the wooden toy manufacturer reported that they are not paid with the proper salary.