Parents feel reducing weight of bags is important, fear for health of kids

In institutes like Gurukul for instance, students do not have to carry books to school.

Mumbai: Parents of school children in the city feel that reducing the weight of schoolbags is the need of the hour. Rising instances of back problems and low stamina among students are definite indicators that heavy bags are literally crushing them. There are many educational institutes that are trying to find a way out of this problem. In institutes like Gurukul for instance, students do not have to carry books to school.

“I have seen my child panting when he climbs the staircase of our building. We stay on the second floor and this is our situation. Something has to be done about the bags now. We have told the schools to use only one notebook instead of six-seven, to reduce the burden,” said a parent, who did not wish to be named.

Rajesh Shetty, another parent said, “During the parents-teachers meeting, we often discuss this issue. The school authorities understand our concern and so they give us a proper time table, detailing what books have to be brought to school. We feel that schools should invest more on lockers or storage systems which will lessen the burden on students.”

Daisy Gaikwad, a retired school teacher from a Kalyan school, feels the current generation of students goes through a lot of trouble as they carry a lot of weight on their back. “It is funny that the weight of the child’s bag is heavier than the bags their parents carry to work. It is not the school’s fault. Parents are equally responsible as they give fancy tiffin bags and water bottles, which are very heavy. Moreover, have you seen the schoolbags? It is itself so heavy! Parents should understand what is more important, the child’s back or fancy items?”

Choosing alternatives

Some city schools are coming up with alternatives like giving lockers to students in school. Then there are alternative schools like Gurukul in the city, which believe in thinking out of the box and the concept of heavy schoolbags does not exist for them.

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