A children’s poem in Class 1 Hindi textbooks published by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has stirred up quite a controversy on social media. The poem that depicts a six-year-old girl -described as "chokri" - selling mangoes in a "tokri" (a basket carried on the head) has garnered widespread criticism, with many accusing NCERT of promoting child labour.
While some believed that the poem held undertones of promoting child labour, others took offence to the use of the term "Chokri,'" which they allege can be perceived as derogatory.
The poem ‘Aam ki tokri’ has been written by a Uttarakhand-based poet Ramkrishna Sharma Khadder, and it has been part of the NCERT textbook Rimjhim since 2006. However, it was first shared Thursday by Awanish Sharan, who questioned the credibility of the education institution that promotes questionable content in their textbooks.
ये किस ‘सड़क छाप’ कवि की रचना है ?? कृपया इस पाठ को पाठ्यपुस्तक से बाहर करें. pic.twitter.com/yhCub3AVPR
— Awanish Sharan (@AwanishSharan) May 20, 2021
Other Twitter users found the whole ordeal rather embarrassing and preferred to skip through it.
Ohh It was in my student's Book and she was a class 1 child and i skipped this poem🥴 really embarrassing what kind of language is this may be writer is a chapri with green hair
— Priyadarshini (@Priyada84713063) May 20, 2021
NCERT Class 1 Hindi poem:
"6 year old chhokri (girl) has mangoes that she flaunts in her basket. We don't want to ask her name. We want to suck mangoes."
Double-meaning Urduwood for our children. Kids are learning this since 2006.
Publication team headed by M Siraj Anwar pic.twitter.com/GCVnGX05Yl
— Gems Of Books (@GemsOfBooks) May 20, 2021
NCERT issued a statement, following the public reaction to the content of the poem. NCERT stated that the poem was included in the textbook under the National Curriculum Framework (NCF), 2005, to expose the kids to local vocabulary.
With reference to inclusion of poems in NCERT textbooks: It is to state that, "in consonance with NCF-2005 perspective and with an objective to provide children an exposure to vocabulary of local languages, these poems were included at that time.
— NCERT (@ncert) May 21, 2021
NCERT assured people that new textbooks are being prepared under the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020. The policy was introduced by the education minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 22, 2021 06:08 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).