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Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Not only liquor vends, long queues at bookstores too

Not only liquor vends, long queues at bookstores too
A woman carries a bundle of books from a shop in Sector 19, Chandigarh, on Monday. TRIBUNE PHOTO

Chandigarh, May 4

Monday blues returned for many parents as they thronged local bookstores just nine hours after the UT Administration lifted the curfew restrictions. Most stores were open at 9am. As the day progressed, things worsened for parents.

Unmanaged long queues caught everyone's attention outside various bookshops. Parents maintained that they were asked to purchase books from particular stores referred by their schools in which their kids studied. It not only resulted in chaos. Various norms, including maintaining social distance, were thrown to the wind by shopkeepers and buyers.

"My kid's school is taking online classes. There has been no clarification on chapters and assignments given to students. We have to buy books for reference. This morning, the school sent an assignment through WhatsApp, but did not tell from where to take references as no books are available," said a parent, who was standing outside a Sector 22 store.

Another parent, whose daughter is Class V student of Sector 46-based private school said, "The set of books will not be available at any other shop in the city. I have to buy it from here. Schools have started online classes, but what was is the need for it when the local authorities have already preponed summer vacations."

Appeal by Parida

In an appeal to city residents through his twitter account UT Adviser Manoj Parida stated: "An appeal. Do not crowd bookshops, enough sticks available. Before giving to kids, please sanitise books and stationery." However, parents said the authorities were not aware about ground reality. "Instead, the authorities should appeal to private schools not to refer particular bookstores. There have been many complaints, but to no avail," said another parent.

Is referring books legal?

Parents also alleged that they were encouraged to buy books of private publishers for junior classes. "A set of Class V books costs between Rs 4,600 to Rs 5,000. Last year, it was available at around Rs 3,000. The NCERT books are available online for Rs 2,300. There is no explanation on this cost variation by the authorities," said a parent.

Parents' mistake

Meanwhile District Education Officer (DEO) Alka Mehta said, "Its parents' mistake. Why did they go to shops? She stressed that no school had forced parents to buy books today only. "No school has forced them to buy books today itself. The department has nothing to do with it," she added.

from The Tribune


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