Nagpur: With the next academic session slated to start soon, the business of the uniforms, stationery (school books, notebooks, pens, pencils, geometry box, covers, etc), and other paraphernalia is on full bloom.
The nexus that many leading shops selling uniforms and other related paraphernalia developed with the management of leading and reputed schools in the city is alarming. For a kick-back of a sizeable amount, the managements of many schools tie-up with these unscrupulous traders. The school authorities too play clever games to ensure that a completely new uniform set is purchased by the parents. The old uniform set becomes obsolete this year. Even a simple white shirt cannot be used. To ensure that the parents buy new uniforms, many changes are devised by the school authorities and the unscrupulous traders.
- A slight change in the logo embossed on the shirt is made to ensure purchase of new shirts.
- In what could be unique and first of its kind, the buttons of the shirt is embossed with the name of the school to ensure purchase of new shirts.
- A thin line of a different colour is stitched on the pants to ensure purchase of new pants.
- A change in the logo on the tie is made to ensure purchase of new ties.
- A thin line of the white shoes (used for sports activity on Saturdays) is made to ensure purchase of new white shoes.
- A thin strip of a different colour on the black regular uniform shoes is made to ensure purchase of new black uniform shoes.
- The coloured T-shirts for one particular house is also changed to ensure purchase of new T-Shirts.
- The change in the logo on the school belt is made to ensure purchase of new belts.
In olden days, the uniforms of elder brothers and sisters were handed down to the younger siblings. But now, with these unholy nexus of school managements and unscrupulous traders the parents of children have to shell a sizeable amount for uniforms. To add to that is the sizeable amount needed for stationery. All this exorbitant costs has to be shelled out, apart from the heavy school fees.
The worst hit are the parents who have admissions into the schools under the Right to Education Scheme and lottery scheme. The parents who are financially from weaker section do get a waiver in the fees, but what about the sizeable amount one has to spend on the uniforms and stationery. Big amount is also taken by the school for transportation in their school buses. To add to this the parents also have to spend an amount of Rs 100/- to 300/- (on an average) on a day to day basis for observance of various days and festivals.
Many leading stationers have tied-up with leading and reputed convents and schools. This ensures that the students have to buy the stationery items only from them. In order to ensure the purchase, the stationers set-up a counter in the school and make a set of all the required books, notebooks, drawing books, pencils, pens, rubbers, covers etc for a particular class. The parents are made to procure it on the day the results are declared.