Are over-weight school bags still a problem

Motsuthung Yanthan

Chumukedima, Dimapur

Looking out my window in the middle of the day here in Dimapur, I just noticed a small kid, just 8-10 years, dragging a huge school bag under the scorching heat of the sun. It’s obviously sympathetic. Now, I can’t complain about the heat of the sun. But I know something can be done about that massive and clearly over weight school bag he was carrying, that could weight more than 5kg. He was literally bending over entirely horizontal to the ground so the bag rests on his back as he walked, because it’d drag his shoulders backward if he stood upright. Don’t we care?

I faced the same situation in my schooling days where some teachers would make us bring both notebooks and texts books, which for the record, were usually colossal in size, even if it wasn’t necessary. I’m not saying they can’t make the students do that, but it would be nice if they considered the labour that needs to be endured by students that aren’t travelling by buses or other vehicles.

The problem is apparent to all of us and therefore the central government has even instructed that all schools follow a certain prescribed weight of school bags of their students. They are: not more than 1.5kg for classes 1 and 2; between 2-3 kg for classes 3 to 5; not more than 4 kg for classes 6 and 7; not more than 4.5 kg for classes 8 and 9; and not more than 5kg for class 10.

I urge the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Nagaland, to consider this issue at the earliest and take all necessary steps to ensure that all schools adhere to the prescribed pan India law, which clearly haven’t made it to our state. I would hate to see another kid who has to go through any unnecessary labour only because he’s going to school to receive education and possibly be a leader one day.