The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) plans to lighten the bulky backpacks children carry to school by proposing to split their books according to specific semesters, with a slew of studies pointing out that the backbreaking bags are too heavy for the fragile bones and muscles of children.
The proposal came up at a meeting of the MHRD and could be implemented from the next academic year if approved by states.
The children between 8-15-year-old carrying school bags weighing between 5-10 kg is common in India as most schools insist they bring about a dozen books and notebooks daily, with the added load of lunchboxes and water bottles triggering back and neck strains and sometimes lifelong orthopaedic damage.
The idea is to ensure students don’t need to carry heavy bags to school that puts pressure on their young spine. The suggestion to bind specific chapters that would be taught in a particular semester is practical and can be implemented easily.