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  The Delhi High Court Wednesday questioned the Delhi government on a petition seeking steps to prevent city school children from accessing intoxicants.

The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna issued notice to the education department and asked it to file a reply by May 18 on the issue raised by a public interest litigation.

The petition sought restricting school children’s access to eraser fluid, naphthalene balls, pain-relieving balms, nail paint remover and paint thinner, among other similar substances.

The court asked petitioner Sanjeev Sabharwal to submit his queries related to the issue.

The petition wanted the directorate of education to ensure that such substances did not make their way into schools.

Sabharwal said parents must be made aware of the widespread substance abuse among school children.

The petitioner said school children as young as 10 years were getting addicted to sniffing eraser fluid, glue, pain-relieving balms, paint thinner and nail polish remover — items which are available at neighbourhood stationery or provision shops.

These items cost between Rs.15-30, and most children manage to buy them from their pocket money.

Some even go as far as inhaling petrol from their parents’ cars or parked bikes.

The petition has also made the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and Delhi State Commission for Protection of Child Rights as respondents.

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