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Global Gujarati fights faulty globe

Global Gujarati fights faulty globe

Author: Indiawest
Publication: The Times of India
Date: January 30, 2004
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/453793.cms

A Massachusetts mom wants to know how she can persuade a popular toy company that Kashmir is not an independent country.
Purvi Master chanced upon the misrepresentation of Kashmir, when she went to a toy store in Burlington to buy toy manufacturer LeapFrog's 'Explorer Globe' for her six-year-old son.
She and husband, Jayesh, observed that the 'Explorer Globe' depicted Kashmir as a separate country. When they examined other LeapFrog products, the couple discovered that the company's error was repeated across its range of toys including a world map sold with the Quantum Pad Learning System.
Since then, Master has unsuccessfully tried to educate the company's executives and researchers and persuade them to redress the error.
Master has written letters about the toys to the Indian consul general and ambassador, and her brother-in-law, who is an American citizen, has written several emails to LeapFrog.
"When I saw that, it hurt. Because I'm an Indian," Master, who hails from Gujarat, told a Boston-area weekly. "Even today, when I think about it, it hurts. How can people so easily separate Kashmir?"

"Kashmir, in every way, is part of India," Kaushal Mody, Master's New Jersey-based brother-in-law, who works for JP Morgan, wrote to the company. "Just like the United States, India has been fighting against terrorism for a couple of decades now. Being Indians, it is very hurtful to see world-class educational toys from a (reputable) company like yours from the greatest democratic nation, carrying a totally wrong message."
LeapFrog's email response was routine but accepted that "sometimes, it is difficult to accurately identify regions under political change at these times."
"When we make revisions to the items, our research staff will again review the current world situation to correct any border changes and other information that may have changed," it added.
Defending its current position, LeapFrog reportedly said, "We are aware of the issues surrounding Kashmir and are greatly concerned that our products contain accurate information. When we have a production of a toy with world information, our research team uses the best and most accurate information available at the time, to include in the product content."
"Kashmir was never an independent country, so it seems that the research team has not done an accurate job," Mody wrote in one of his emails to LeapFrog. "How about showing California or New York as a separate state?... I am sorry to say but if your educational toys provide incorrect knowledge to kids around the country, I would rather not buy those toys."
Master is not about to give up her fight yet. Expressing fears that American children, who learn geography by playing with toys like LeapFrog's will grow up with an erroneous impression about India, Master plans to continue her letter-writing campaign to Indian officials and the news media.
"I have no idea, actually, how far I can go," she said. "I just want to let people know who can do something about it. They can make the company correct their mistake. All my interest is to correct the mistake."

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