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Odisha: School Bags Or Heavy Sacks Of Sand, Ask Parents Of Young Kids


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02 August 2019

Snigdha Chandan Das


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Bhubaneswar: Books, notebooks, rough copies, reference books, almanac, pencil box, geometry box- with all these things, school bags sometimes feel like heavy sacks of sand on delicate shoulders. Many a times, the bags are not able to sustain the weight of contents and the straps snap. Several students have injured their shoulders and later switched to costlier trolley bags to carry their books. 

A concerned mother said, "My son regularly suffers from back pain. The doctor prescribed him not to carry heavy bags. So, it is absolutely necessary that the load of school bags are decreased." 

Another parent said, "I make it a point to pick my children from school so that they do not have to carry those heavy bags on their shoulders for so long. Along with the essential tiffin and water bottle, the weight of bag increases manifold."

Others said, "Only those books should be carried which are absolutely necessary. Teachers should inform beforehand, what books they need for the next day as per the timetable. In that way, students will not have to carry all books everyday."

"Young children become tired after carrying the heavy bags. They do not feel like studying after coming back home." they added.

As per Centre's guidelines, the maximum weight of school bags for students of Classes 1 and 2 is 1.5 kg; for Classes 3 to 5, is 2-3 kg; for Classes 6 and 7, it is within 4 kg; for Classes 8 and 9, it is 4.5 kg, and for Class 10, the weight should not exceed 5 kg.

School and Mass Education Minister Samir Dash said, “I will personally visit different districts and hold discussions with Collectors and Department officials to make sure that the weight of school bags is regulated."

With formation of special squads under full swing and Minister’s promise of personally monitoring the weight of schoolbags, a much needed relief for school students is knocking on the door.

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Artatrana Mishra, Principal, Kendriya Vidyalaya

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Basudev Bhat, Chairman, Odisha Parents Federation