Mumbai: The Department of Legal Metrology (Maharashtra) has issued a statement warning schools not to overcharge parents and children for school-related items. A statement issued by the department said that in recent years a disturbing trend was being recorded of parents being charged way over the MRP for school supplies, such as notebooks, books, and uniforms. The government said that a ‘stringent approach will be taken against those school administrators who engage in such fraudulent practices.”
'Significant legal violation that cannot go unquestioned’
The statement states that it is a ‘significant legal violation that cannot go unquestioned.’ The department encourages everyone to be vigilant and report if there are any such events.
Parents are relieved that the government has taken notice over this unhealthy trend.
Meena Sharda, a parent, from Vile Parle, Mumbai, said, “My daughter is in Class 8, studying in a private school in Mumbai. Every year, we are asked by the school to buy books and uniforms from a particular shop.”
Sharda added that NCERT books are very few from the collection, most are by independent publishers and are only available from school vendors. We also purchase the school-recommended uniforms from the stores suggested by the school.” The mother confirms though, that she never considered buying supplies from other stores.
Another parent, Sakshi Sharma, whose son is in Class 6 in a private school, said, “Every year when the new session begins, there is a huge rush outside bookshops and uniform shops that are recommended to us by school authorities. Maybe they have a tie-up with at least five-six schools.”
She adds:” Even though the books are sold at MRP rates, one cannot understand the rush for particular stores. If this is the case, drastic measures should be done because several impoverished children cannot purchase these books,” she urged.
Schools to receive commission from selling of uniforms and books
According to a private school teacher who asked to remain anonymous, schools may receive a percentage of the commission from the selling of uniforms and books. “Every year, brand-new publishers approach our schools to collaborate with them, and we then direct students to purchase those books. We provide a list of a few stores where parents can purchase uniforms for their children.
The statement by the government asks all parents and students to cooperate with this joint effort to prevent cheating in school-related purchases. “Let us all work together to create a safe and fair marketplace for everyone, " the release urges.