Along with the burden of studies on the shoulders, now a days, students are forced to carry heavy bags full of all textbooks and notebooks every day. At times when they miss anything, then they may be beaten with wooden scale slaps or punished for the whole period, sadly. Most of the school children in Delhi-NCR have been under this pressure of carrying heavy load on their shoulder. The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) had asked all states and Union Territories (UTs) on Monday to regulate the weight of school bags.
Also, a Mail Today reality check with a weighing machine was conducted as a result of which most bags weighed double the limit prescribed by the government. Yes! You read it right. Many small kids were seen carrying even 10-kg bags and students of classes III and IV were the mains. JS Bhasin from the pediatric department at BLK Super Speciality Hospital said 68 per cent of the children in the age group of 7-13 face risks of a backache and hunchback because of heavy schoolbags. As per the government rules, the weight of schoolbags for students of classes I and II should not exceed 1.5 kg, while those of students of class III to V should weigh between 2 kg to 3 kg. Schoolbags of students of classes VI and VII should not be more than 4 kg, while the weight of schoolbags of classes VIII and IX students should not be above 4.5 kg. The schoolbag of a class X student should not weigh above 5 kg. This is the circular sent by the government that needs to be followed strictly. However this is not easy and it will take some doing before the burden can actually be reduced. Parents have been surveyed and it is sad to know that they are really worried about the kids and their health. These problems may lead to early spondylitis and severe neck and back pain. Not only it may cause serious spinal damage and irreversible back problems but also may affect the mental growth of children as they feel tired all the time. Many children are carrying their bags on one shoulder or are increasingly carrying them on the crook of their elbow that gives a great strain on the spine. The problem can be fixed only by schools and teachers and the idea behind the government circular is to ensure good health and physical growth of growing children who are often seen complaining about back and shoulder pain. If heavy textbooks are replaced with notepads, it would bring a change. Avadesh Kumar Ojha, principal of Government Sarvodaya Coed Vidyalaya, Rohini Sector-8, said heavy bags are a result of traditional teaching patterns. But now schools are focusing more on finishing the syllabus rather than enhancing students' learning abilities.
By: Anuja Arora