Bengaluru, May 20 (IANS) The South Western Railway (SWR) zone has cheered up some migrant children by gifting them Channapattana toys as they depart Karnataka amid Covid pandemic in the Shramik special trains, an official said on Wednesday.
"Bengaluru Division (of SWR) on Tuesday distributed 700 Channapattana toys to the children of migrant labourers who left Bengaluru by Shramik special trains," said the zonal railway spokesperson.
The railway zone's city division has started the 'Put the Smile Back' initiative to enthuse the migrant children and make their journey enjoyable and memorable.
"These toys were procured by the commercial department of the Bengaluru Division and distributed under 'Put the Smile Back' initiative launched on Tuesday by Ashok Kumar Verma, Divisional Railway Manager," she said.
One of the ambitions of the toy distribution is also to promote local arts and crafts of the southern state, she said.
"It also supports local art and craft of Karnataka. It encourages business of local artisans and artists," said the spokesperson.
Channapattana toys bear a Geographical Indication (GI) tag and are crafted of wood and natural colours. These toys are produced in the Karnataka town of Channapattana that lies between Bengaluru and Mysuru cities. The toys have a history dating back to the Mysore ruler, Tipu Sultan, who is said to have encouraged Persian artisans to settle down here and develop the craft.
Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) and other entities have also contributed to the 'Put the Smile Back' toys initiative.
The SWR zone has already run 97 special trains to ferry more than one lakh migrants back to their native states.