Chhote chhote bachhe, bhari bhari baste
|   Feb 08, 2017
Chhote chhote bachhe, bhari bhari baste

I never realized how serious concern is a "heavy school bag" until my daughter got promoted to grade 1. Till upper KG, most of her books were in school and her bag was always easy to carry. However, now that she is in grade 1, and while we strictly adhere to her time table, her bag is very heavy, each  single day - so much that even me and my husband find it heavy to carry. For that matter, anyone else who carries her bag finds it to be heavy. And, those days, when she has to carry her skating bag as well, I feel really bad for her. Both of them together are too much for her to carry. She is just six years old.

As I say this, I feel really helpless because I can't do anything for her - because that's what she is supposed to do, because every other kid of her class is carrying that heavy bag, without making any complaints.

I tried finding out with other kids of her age, who go to different schools, to find out if this problem is specific to her school or it's the same every where. After talking to some parents, I realized that it's the same with all schools. In fact, the higher class kids move to, the heavier their bags are.

There is this boy in my society who is in grade 5. We often share the lift when he comes back from the school because my daughter comes pretty much the same time. One day, out of curiosity, I asked him why he takes the lift, he just has to go to the first floor. And, he was like, "Aunty, my bag is really heavy." I felt so bad for him. And, for so many other children who don't even have a lift to take.

I did some research on the Internet and found out that, as per CBSE standards, the weight of our children's bags should not be more than 10% of their body weight. But, I don't see this happening anywhere. Atleast, not in schools that I am aware of. The bags usually weigh around 15-20% of the kids' body weight, and the percentage is even higher in some cases. 

Wondering what's the use of these standards if they cannot be implemented. Also wondering why the concerned authorities are not taking any action against this. Why aren't the schools doing anything about it? Why we, the parents, aren't taking a stand against this issue.  After all, it's about the future and health of our children. Heavy bags can lead to serious back issues, which later might become lifetime issues. 

I am sure there are several ways of reducing the weight of school bags, provided we are willing to take a stand. Some of the possible ways could be:

  • Changing the time table pattern that we have been following for years. Why do we need to cover 6-7 subjects each day? Why can't we reduce it to 3-4?
  • Changing the way our books and notebooks are published. We can look at reducing the weight of books/notebooks individually and the total weight of the bags will automatically go down.
  • Keeping two sets of books, one for school and one for home - so that students don't need to carry them to school everyday. I know it might not sound appealing to many because double set of books means double expenses. However, we can look at using one set from the previous batch and buying another set. This will easily solve the purpose.
  • These are just some of the many ways that could possibly help in reducing the burden on our little ones' shoulders.

    My appeal to all parents out there, "If you think your kid's bag is heavier than it should be, please raise your voice. Please talk to their school authorities. Our young kids don't deserve to go through this pain everyday. It's quite big a responsibility on their little shoulders. If all of us come together and speak about it, we can definitely bring a revolution and change the system. So, why not give it a try.

    Thanks for reading my blog.! Looking forward to your views on my concern.

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