The Mumbai school principals’ association is mulling to issue an “appeal” to students to avoid buying goods that are ‘Made in China’. The decision by the principals comes in the backdrop of the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at Dokalam area in Sikkim sector. “It is not an order but an appeal to students, who are going to be the future citizens of our country. I think it was necessary to take such steps as a support to our leaders,” Mumbai School Principals’ Association secretary Prashant Redij said today. “We have prepared a draft regarding the same. Once it is approved by all members of the association, we will circulate it in schools in the Mumbai metropolitan region,” he said.
There are around 1,500 schools in the region as part of the association. “We are checking the legal aspects of our appeal as it is not an order but an appeal. We are making it (the appeal) because we think, at our level, we should do something to counter the China’s stand on our borders,” Redij said.
Asked about the international trade agreements and their obligation on the Indian government which might come in the way of putting a ban on one country’s goods, he said, “I do not understand it in-depth but I am aware of the fact that a blanket ban is impossible.” “I also want to know how can we maintain trade relations when the same country is creating troubles on our borders unnecessarily,” Redij said.
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“In schools, we teach history to students, about the India-China war, how our the country suffered from it and then students use ‘Made in China’ products to write the answers. It is ironical, hence we have decided to make an appeal,” he said. “There will be no compulsion on any of the students to stop buying or using Chinese goods. It is going to be an individual choice or family’s decision. No school will push or pursue these issues. We are making an appeal and nothing more than that,” Redij said.
China and India have been engaged in the standoff in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan tri-junction for the past three weeks after a Chinese Army’s construction party attempted to build a road. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region. Of the 3,488-km-long India-China border from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, a 220-km section falls in Sikkim.