Arvind Gupta – Defender of the Playful

Arvind Gupta, teacher, physicist, maker of toys from trash, has received world-wide recognition for his “outstanding contribution in designing science teaching aids for young children.”

His website features an incredibly generous (more than 600) collection of toys, made mostly from found objects, each exemplifying the intrinsic fun of science. Each toy pictured includes easy-to-follow, well-illustrated instructions for making your own.

He has written extensively, and been written about even more extensively. He has been recognized by “several international organisations such as UNESCO, UNICEF, International Toy Research Association, Halmstad University, Boston Science Centre, MIT (Media Lab), Walt Disney Imagineering and Research, Auhof Rehabilitation Centre, Hilpolstien, Germany and the International Play Association, Finland. As a UNESCO consultant on science education he has been invited to share his experiences in science teaching with teachers of several developing countries. He has been actively associated with the Bombay Natural History Society, Conservation Society of Delhi, Spastic Society of North India and the Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti. He is an advisor to the National Book Trust on popular science books. He has received several awards for his outstanding contributions. These include Eklavya Award (1982), the inaugral National Award for Science Popularisation amongst Children (1988), Hari Bhau Mote Award of the Marathi Vigyan Parishad (1988), a special award given by the National Association for the Blind for designing teaching aids for pre-school blind children (1991), Granthali award for his book Khel(1992), Ruchi Ram Sahni Award for science popularisation(1993)and the Hari Om Ashram Award by the UGC (1995).”

Arvind Gupta comments: “I work in a Children’s Science Centre in the City of Pune in India. I have been making simple science toys for children for over 25 years. The Internet provided me with a tool to share them with children all over the world.”

On behalf of the children of the world, Mr. Gupta, allow me to express our respect and gratitude, adding to your copious honors the title Defender of the Playful.

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