Parents in a dilemma

Jagjeevan Jothsingh and Varsha Rani are both working parents from India who have been residing in Sharjah for 11 years with their sons — Mandhir who is in Grade 8 and Anmol who is in Grade 1.

By (D.G.)

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Published: Sat 23 Aug 2008, 1:18 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:09 PM

Jagjeevan and family.Giving the best to their children now comes with a heavy prize. 'The promotions at malls and shops for school stationery are really enticing, but we can't afford to buy new bags and books every academic term,' said a troubled Jagjeevan.

Jordanian expatriate Ammar Al Diab and his wife, Eman Diab, have a similar story to narrate. Ammar works for Lowe Mena, Media City, Dubai, and the couple have a six-year-old son, Ibrahim, who studies in Grade 2 at Al Saleh Private School. 'Although a lot of places have offers, the products are not of very good quality. One of the pencils I purchased recently broke when my son wrote just two words. My son's demands grow everyday. He is attracted to any bag and pen that has Spiderman or Batman on it,' he said.

ì'Most of the time, I buy good-quality bags that will last throughout the year. But keeping two boys happy is quite a difficult task, especially everytime they come home with a torn bag or a rip on their pants. You have to replace them with new ones,' said Jagjeevan.

Ammar told Khaleej Times, 'I used to pay Dh90 for a school bag a year ago. The same brand of bag now costs Dh165. My wife and I had a budget of Dh300 for Ibrahim and I ended up spending Dh600 only on the stationery items he needs.'

Are the promotions offered at various outlets of any help? 'Even with the discounts or the promotions, I don't think the customer benefits that much; the margin of discount is very small,' said Jagjeevan. Ammar said, 'All products that the retail outlets and markets sell are the same; the only difference is the marketing techniques used by them.'

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