PARIS — Barbie toys are a big hit in India, and its capital is getting in on the action.
But now, they’re being banned in a major city.
The move is a response to complaints that Barbie dolls, made by a Japanese toy company, have been sold in India.
In the past few years, more than 100,000 Barbie dolls have been imported from Japan.
Indian police have also arrested a man who allegedly bought more than 2,000 of the dolls.
But Barbie has long been an important symbol of empowerment and independence for many Indian girls, and the toys have a long history in India as well.
“I don’t think we’re taking anything away from any girl, or any boy.
It’s just a symbol that we can be proud of and we can have fun,” said Kala Kasturi, a former Barbie maker who now runs a company that specializes in educational materials for girls.
Barbies can now only be bought online or at a toy store.
The company’s head, Toni Gopalakrishnan, said it will also stop selling toys to people under 18, who are not allowed to buy and use them.
“I want to send a strong message to the children, because the people that are buying these things are not responsible parents, they are just buying it,” Gopalaksushnan said.
India has some of the world’s highest birth rates, but girls still make up only about 8% of the population.
Kala said the ban on Barbie will affect many kids, but it also gives them a chance to practice their crafts.
“They can be a little bit more adventurous, because they don’t have to take their doll on a plane, on a motorcycle or even on the train,” she said.