These women entrepreneurs are revisiting simpler days of childhood by reviving traditional Indian games

Sep 12, 2020

Gone are the days when children made Sunday plans to compete in games of spinning tops, marbles, or other spirited outdoor sports. Today, their free times is spent glaring at mobile and computer screens, hosting virtual games where screams of excitement are being typed as emojis. Most elders reckon these as signs of changing times and some even go along with flow.

Today, many mothers leave their children at the hands of gadgets so that they are not disturbed or even so that they eat without any fuss. Some of the adverse health effects of using these gadgets include diminished social communication skills and reduced quality of sleep. Additionally, for older children, time spent online also means physical inactivity that is imperative for mental and physical growth.

As the younger generation leans towards being more tech savvy, these women entrepreneurs are bringing play into their lives by giving them a taste of Indian games of the past. These startups also ensure the little ones learn as they play.   

Toys startup

(From L to R clockwise) Vinita Sidhartha, Founder of Kreeda; Nisha Ramasamy, Founder of Ariro Wooden Toys; Swapna Wagh, Founder of Desi Toys; Mridula Sirdhar, Co-founder of Skola

Nisha Ramasamy, Ariro Wooden toys

Montessori teacher-turned entrepreneur Nisha Ramasamy and her husband believe that toys are an important part of a child’s development, especially until three years of age. However, the foundation for Ariro was laid when their three-month-old daughter was diagnosed with a skin condition called atopic dermatitis. Plastic toys caused rashes and they could not find sufficient wooden toys in the market.

When they made neem wooden teethers with the help of a carpenter, other parents appreciated and requested them for their children as well. Seeing a readily available market, the duo decided to launch Ariro in 2018. Prior to this, to ensure the toys are simple yet functional, they travelled to France, Indonesia and a toy expo in Beijing to understand the toy market better.

Based in Chennai, the duo now teams up with artisans to make teethers, step stools, push and pull toys, rattlers, sky mobiles, and puzzles.

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