India bans leather shoes in schools as 'vestige of colonial rule'

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India is to ban schoolchildren from wearing leather shoes because they are seen as a "vestige of British colonial rule."

Instead canvas plimsolls will replace uncomfortable and "environmentally hazardous" leather shoes.

The move by the country's school boards follows a campaign by Maneka Gandhi, Indira Gandhi's widowed daughter-in-law, who is now an member of parliament for the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party. She is one of India's leading animal rights campaigners and a fierce opponent of slaughtering cows, which are revered among Hindus....

Black leather shoes were introduced as mandatory items in Indian school uniforms during British colonial rule and have continued unchallenged ever since. Their widespread use has made schoolchildren the country's largest consumers of leather products, according to the People for Animals (PFA) campaign.

Sixteen schools in Madras have already banned leather footwear in response to their campaign and protesters have since been lobbying schools in Chandigarh, Punjab....

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