Target: Vineet Joshi, Chairman of India’s Central Board of Secondary Education
Goal: Congratulate move to protect animals and the environment by Central Board of Secondary Education Chairman when it encouraged a ban on leather shoes in 18,000 schools
In a move that could impact the fashion of a generation, 18,000 secondary education institutes across India have been requested to ban leather shoes from their school uniform policies. India’s Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) sent an advisory on February 18th to “All the Heads of the schools affiliated to the CBSE,” strongly encouraging them to implement the ban. Canvas and other animal-friendly and earth-friendly shoes are the suggested alternatives.
A meeting between CBSE and representatives of PETA resulted in the advisory notice to India’s secondary institutions, as well as prompting by others including Member of Parliament and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi. The advisory specifically names animal and environmental concerns in the strongly suggested policy’s rationale. It highlights the need to put environmental protection into practice, and acknowledges that leather production “comes at a huge environmental and animal welfare cost” involving “highly toxic chemicals.” It also lists the convenience that eco-friendly canvas provides: canvas shoes are “more resistant to wear and tear, more comfortable and relatively inexpensive.”
This is a huge victory for animal rights activists in India, as well as environmentalists. The campaign to ban leather shoes from school uniforms has been underway in India for some time. While the State of Goa’s government has reported that most of its schools require use of canvas shoes, many other states have not previously adopted these policies. Requiring canvas is an animal-friendly option, helping to lower the demand for leather products. This could potentially prevent toxic chemicals used in the tanning process from being dumped into bodies of water such as the Ganges River and harming people who depend on that water. Congratulate CBSE Chairman Vineet Joshi for encouraging a policy that could help save animals and the planet.
Dear Chairman Vineet Joshi,
I would like to take a moment to thank you and the Central Board of Secondary Education for the huge step forward you took when you sent an advisory encouraging a ban on the use of leather shoes in India’s secondary schools.
As you recognized in the advisory to nearly 18,000 institutions, the production of leather is harmful to both animals and the environment. Animals used for leather production often face inhumane conditions and a cruel death, and their skin used for leather often requires exorbitant amounts of toxic chemicals in the production process. These toxins pollute the Ganges River, as well as India’s other bodies of water. India’s citizens who live near tanneries and depend on polluted water sources are in turn harmed by these chemicals. When you encourage school policies that require canvas shoes instead of leather, you lower the demand for leather products in India and help stave off the harmful effects of leather production.
I commend your focus on the environment, and encourage more animal-friendly and Earth-friendly policies in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Bernard Gagnon via Wikimedia Commons.