Industrial visits help college students gain hands-on experience and bridge the gap between theoretical training and practical learning in a real-life environment. Students observe and learn how the theoretical management concepts are put into action. The visits are a complete package with an aim of holistic learning and widening of knowledge.
On 13 October’18, we, the III Year BCom ‘B’ students were taken on an industrial visit to Channapatna -famous for its toy industry. Prof Roopashree and Prof Harikrishna accompanied us on this trip.
We set out for Channapatna Craft Park, on the outskirts of Bengaluru at 11 am. Government has given 14 acres of land to the entrepreneurs to set up this industrial estate. We were taken to Shilpa Trust in the craft park. This trust makes products such as toys, decorative show pieces as well as gift items, all made of wood. It seems they produce 8500 varieties of such items. Mr. Dilip, the Production Manager said that from the past thirty years they are into export activities but in the last three years they have ventured into domestic market. They use indigenous technologies for manufacturing, but all crafted by the local artisans.
In order to produce a final product, wood pieces have to go through various processes. The first process is cutting barks of the wood and making it ready for the next process which also acts as an input for the next step. In the second step, shape is given to the wood pieces. In the subsequent step colouring is done. What’s amazing, is the way the natural colours are made! The colour is made from the wax which is essentially a combination of plant roots and insect wastes. The colouring wax is placed on the wood piece and when the machine starts running over it, a friction is caused that melts the colours which in turn colours the wood. The next stage is lustouring [shining]. Palm leaf is used at this stage to give a smooth finish to the product. In the last stage the pieces are all attached together.
The artisans in the toy village are not educated but are skilled and accomplished craftsmen. It’s the skill that enables them to open these types of units. Shilpa Trust has employed around 65-85 employees who have around 20-25 years of experience in this field.
We returned at 3 pm. The trip was fabulous and a great learning experience, as in the V semester, one of the subjects has a topic that covers small industries and industrial estates. Thus, the visit had a value-added learning method; wherein, we could apply our classroom learning to the real-life situation. It also provided us an exposure to the practical working environment and an awareness about the industrial practices.
The V Semester BBA students were taken for an industrial visit to Channapatna on 25 October’18 to a wooden toy making factory named Shilpa Trust Karakushala Arts and crafts. Prof Crissy Mathew and Prof Meera Seshanna accompanied the students on this trip.
It was a wonderful experience to know more about this exclusive art of toy making. The students learnt that the organization consists of about 20 employees and dependent on the demand about 50-100 toys are manufactured per day. The toys made at the factory are mainly exported abroad and some are sold in Chennai and Bangalore.
Apart from toys they make varieties of wooden carved idols too, they also take customized orders. The greatest specialty of these Channapatna toys are that they are 100% chemical free, the colours used are directly extracted from plants which make their demand go a notch higher.
The toys are made from a tree named Wrightia Tintoria (Ivory wood) also known as Aale mara in Kannada. There is hardly any use of modern technology and yet Channapatna toys are one among the most demanded handicrafts in India.
-Hamli Susan Abraham