This Sunday's broadcast of the 66th episode of the radio program 'Mann Ki Baat' saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi talking about many things including India-China border tensions, guidelines that citizens should follow amid Unlock to protect against coronavirus, and indoor board games.
While reminding people of the importance of staying at home and following proper precautions such as wearing masks when going out in public despite the end of lockdown, PM Modi urged local game makers and start-ups to come up with new indoor gaming ideas by utilizing traditional Indian board games.
"I have an appeal to my young friends and start-ups- can we make traditional indoor games popular?" the PMO's Twitter handle posted. He spoke about the sane on Mann Ki Baat. "There is a new opportunity for our youth and start-ups here - indoor board games," he said, adding that there was a need to rethink and repackage traditional Indian indoor games or board games to make them interesting for the youth.
He added that the move will not only help start-ups and suppliers of board games and related items but also give a push to "local" traditions and enterprise which will be in keeping with the government's vision for an 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'.
After the PM's tweets, several Indian start-ups have already started coming forth with their ideas for rejuvenating Desi indoor games. Bengaluru-Mysuru based board game makers 'Rolling the Dice' took to Twitter to share their gratitude for the PM for talking about board games on his national address.
"So nice to hear Narendra Modi talk about Indian games in his Mann Ki Baat," the star-up posted on Twitter. "We are a startup engaged in reimagining traditional Indian indoor and board games. We are engaging SMEs from across the country in building game sets which are receiving accolades across the country," the post further added.
But while the announcement may lead to many new opportunities and employment avenues for start-ups, critics on social media felt that now was not the best time to bring up board games when the economy was already stretched.
Apart from board games, Modi also spoke about migrant workers who had reached home after making long journeys.
“You would be seeing many inspiring stories of migrant labourers. In UP's Barabanki, labourers who returned from outside started working to restore natural form of Kalyani river. While staying in isolation, the way migrant labourers have changed things around them is commendable,” he said on migrants who have returned home amid the Covid-19 lockdown.