Sikkim standoff: Don’t buy Made in China stationery, Mumbai schools tell students
Mumbai city news: The principals refuse to believe their actions might escalate an already tensed situation on Sino-India bordermumbai Updated: Jul 10, 2017 09:42 IST
As the border standoff between India and China continues, many schools in Mumbai plan to tell students to boycott Chinese-made school stationery and other products.
The Mumbai Principals Association (MPA), which represents schools following the state board curriculum, in its recent executive committee meeting, decided to dissuade parents and students from purchasing 'Made in China' water bottles, tiffin boxes, pencil boxes, sketch pens, measurement rulers, writer pads and erasers. The principals believe this symbolic protest will inculcate a feeling of patriotism among the students.
Principals from around 1,600 to 1,700 state board schools in the city are associated with MPA. Redij said there won't be any compulsion on students or parents to 'boycott" Chinese products. "There won't be any ban on Chinese products. Rather, we will make an appeal to the parents and ask them to think about this issue," he said.
"China is creating troubles for India. It continues to oppose India's bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. At a time when the country is dealing with problems in Jammu and Kashmir, it has raked up the border issue in Sikkim to distract the country. The Chinese media is instigating people against the country. In such a situation, why should our money go to China?" said Prashant Redij of MPA.
" All the schools teach patriotism — some more, some less. But the patriotism cannot be taught just through the history of Shivaji Maharaj," he added.
The principals refuse to believe their actions might escalate an already tensed situation on Sino-India border. "It's not a political stunt, but a step in the direction of patriotism. We are not enemies of China, but if our soldiers are being killed, why should we support it?" he said.
However, it may not be feasible for students and parents to avoid Chinese-made products, which are available in abundance, at a much low cost than the domestically manufactured product. Besides, not all academicians feel this is the right approach to educate students. "We are dealing with children having impressionable minds. So, instead of working with an agenda, we should make such topics part of the curriculum. This is a populist, propagandist approach and it doesn't work with children. The students should, instead, be taught to think critically and independently," said Avnita Bir, principal, RN Podar School, Santacruz.