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Jawwad Rizvi
Friday, September 10, 2010
From Print Edition
 
 

 

LAHORE

 

Decreasing purchasing power of the people has brought down the sale of toys ahead of Eid, though cheap Chinese toys have flooded the markets.

 

Most of the Chinese toys made of substandard, lower quality plastic and metals are injurious to the health of children.

 

Despite decline in the sale of the substandard toys, the shopkeepers have increased their rates ahead of Eid, with no check on overcharging. Besides shopkeepers, a large number of vendors also emerge on roads and streets on the festive occasions.

 

According to shopkeepers, toy-guns, plastic cars, dolls, kitchen sets, yo-yo, etc, see increase in their sale on Eid occasion. Locally-manufactured toy-utensils, made of used plastics, are also sold at roadside stalls of the poor localities of the city.

 

Shahbir Ahmed, a toy-seller in Shah Alam market, says that toys sold in small districts of the province are mostly made of low quality plastic and used metal. Children like the Chinese toys available in City markets, he maintains.

 

‘Eid sees an increase in toys prices in retail market but there is no surge in toy rates in the wholesale market on any special occasion’, Shahbir says, adding that, this year, the sale has registered decline in the wake of the devastating floods.

 

Muhammad Sagheer, who owns a shop of toys and gifts in Baghbanpura, says, ‘The sales of toys increases manifold on Eid, but the increasing inflation has affected the sale this year.’ He agrees that the plastic and material used in toys is injurious to health, saying that there is no authority to check the substandard material in the market.

 

It has been observed that locally produced toys do not carry specific instructions - user’s age limit, information about the material which they are made of, etc. On the other hand, toys available in the developed countries are produced keeping in view different age groups of the children. Besides, each toy also carries special instructions.

 

An industrialist, who supplies raw material to the plastic industry, says that recycled and toxic material used to manufacture toys could prove harmful to innocent children. He says Chinese toys are no different as that also carry materials injurious to health.

 

He says that parents must check the material used to make toys before buying them but there is no such culture in the country.

 

Some toys are injurious to children because they have small parts which a small child can swallow while playing with them. Different kinds of waste stuffed inside different toys are also harmful to children. A replica gun is one such example which could prove extremely dangerous because of its tiny plastic balls (bullets) which are fired with great pressure.