Advisory issued to heads of all schools affiliated to the CBSE
In a move to sensitise students about the environment and animal welfare, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has issued an advisory to schools on encouraging students to wear canvas shoes instead of leather ones.
The advisory, issued last week to heads of all schools affiliated to the CBSE, states that schools should be encouraged to consider the “eco-friendly canvas shoes which are more resistant to wear and tear, more comfortable and relatively inexpensive”.
It added: “The production of leather from animals involves highly toxic chemicals, use of which can be reduced sizeably if the usage of leather shoes is not made mandatory in schools.”
The advisory also said that this would eliminate the need to maintain multiple pairs of shoes.
The move has been welcomed by parents and heads of institutions.
J. Anantha Padamanabhan, principal, Kendriya Vidalaya, M.G. Railway Colony, said that shifting to canvas shoes was not only a good move from an ethical point of view, but also from the point of view of comfort. “The concept of the uniform is only to bring equality among the children and we need to ensure that the uniforms are comfortable for students,” he said.
Swarupa Shivananda, a parent, said the move would ensure that students were sensitised about the environment and animal welfare at a young age. “Leather shoes come at a cost. I appreciate the move to urge students to switch to canvas shoes. As an animal lover, I think it is important to make sure that such ethical concerns are instilled among children at an early age,” she said.
However, Zeeshan Athani, a class 11 student, expressed concern over the durability of canvas shoes. “Canvas shoes get worn out easily and we will have to buy several pairs in one academic year. Leather shoes last longer,” he said.
Shoe shop owners have, however, said that the black shoes were available in leather as well as polymer. “Urging students to wear canvas shoes may not be cost-effective as they do not last long. If the board wants to discourage leather, they can ask students to switch to shoes made of polymer or synthetic leather as they are more viable,” Raghavendra R., a shoe shop owner in Sheshadripuram, said.