However during hearing, the bench observed that no new directive was necessary to limit the weight of school bags.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court Monday dismissed a plea seeking reduction in weig-ht of school bags, saying it did not think children were carrying “unnecessarily heavy bags”. The court also said that the books had become thinner in tune with the times.
A division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice N.M. Jamdar was hearing the Public Interest Litiga-tion filed by activist Swati Patil raising concerns over the weight of school bags. The PIL claimed that children were compelled to carry bags, which were at least 30 per cent heavy for their age.
However during hearing, the bench observed that no new directive was necessary to limit the weight of school bags. It directed the petitioner, Ms Patil, to go through the NCERT website and its recommended curriculum. In case the petitioner found any issues with the curriculum, she could approach the court again, it said.
“In our times, our textbooks used to be so thick. Nowadays, books are so thin. They are also gender-neutral. Books have evolved,” the bench said. The judges also said that back then, books showed only women doing housework but today, men were shown sweeping floors. “Our books were so heavy but we did not get any back problems,” observed the bench.
The judges said they didn't think school-going children were carrying unnecessarily heavy bags. The court also said that the National Council of Educational Research and Training and other publishing authorities were moving with the times and publishing thinner books. Students needed to carry books between home and school because these books served as reference material for all that they were taught in class.