Reduce schoolkids' bagload: Juvenile Justice Board

Direction to DDPI follows petition filed recently by a parent

Reduce schoolkids' bagload: Juvenile Justice Board

The issue of schoolchildren carrying bag load of books has resurfaced with the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), Mysore district, issuing directions to the Deputy Director of Public Instructions (DDPI) to take immediate steps to ensure that the bag load is reduced in the interest of young children.

This follows a first-of-its-kind petition filed recently before the Board by M Dharmaraj, father of a class three girl student at a private school in the city. In his complaint to the Board, Dharmaraj expressed grave concern about his daughter carrying seven to 10 kg of books every day to school.

He had also brought to light the plight of most of her peers, who were subjected to a similar fate, risking adverse effects on their health, including hormonal imbalance and stunted growth.

The school management and the department concerned had failed to take note of the childrens’ plight, the petition said.

Principal Magistrate of the JJB, B Nandakumar, and member P P Baburaj, who found it (carrying load) a clear violation of child rights, issued the order on July 6.

The Board also asked the DDPI to make provisions for keeping the textbooks on the school premises, allowing students to take home only books with minimum weight. The DDPI has been given a fortnight’s time to submit the action taken report.

Baburaj told Deccan Herald that this was the first time the Board was dealing with such a complaint.

The Board is vested with powers under Central Rule 10 (e) 2007, which allows it to pass necessary directions to the district administration in the interest of children.

Earlier, the Board had directed police authorities to ensure safety of children transported to school in autorickshaws and cabs (Maruti vans). Following this, the traffic police had intensified the drive to rein in such transport operators by imposing fine in nearly 200 cases.

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