Lack of regulations: Students continue to be weighed down

Lack of regulations: Students continue to be weighed down

NGO to conduct surveys in city schools

Lack of regulations: Students continue to be weighed down

While child right organisations have raised a hue and cry over the heavy weight carried by children in the form of school bags, measures regulating its weight are yet to be introduced. 

To press for such regulations, members of People’s Legal Forum and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday, surveyed 28 children attending various classes at Ideal Jawa Rotary School in the city. Data collected during the survey, showed that children carried at least two times the weight or 25 per cent of their body weight in the school bag. There were also extremes. A UKG student weighing 18.8 kg, was found carrying a bag weighing 8.8 kg -- almost half his body weight.

Another student of eighth standard, who has had open heart surgery, was found to be carrying a 6.5 kg bag to school during the survey.

P P Baburaj, Convenor of People’s Legal Forum said that such surveys will be conducted in other schools of the city, for comprehensive data on the burden of heavy bags suffered by children.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Baburaj said that even though such heavy bags could be detrimental for the health of the children, especially the spine, no measures to prevent the problem had been taken up by the government.

“There is the School Bag (Limitation of Weight) Bill, which has been kept in abeyance at the Rajya Sabha. If the Bill is implemented, a child carrying a school bag, which is more than 10 per cent of his body weight will be considered illegal,” he said.

“During the survey, there were parents who appealed to us to press for regulations against heavy school bags. However, concerted efforts are essential to reduce the weight. Apart from bags, the government can instruct schools to introduce filing systems and cabinets to reduce the burden of students,” he added.

A S Ramappa, Retd Joint Director of Public Instruction and AAP leader M V Padmamma were present.