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.

Other Twitter users found the whole ordeal rather embarrassing and preferred to skip through it.

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.

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).