Bombay HC asks Maharashtra govt address heavy school bags issue

Mumabi: Voicing concern over heavy school bags carried by students, the Bombay High Court on Friday asked Maharashtra government to expeditiously take a decision on implementation of a resolution passed by it that seeks to address the problem.

A division bench of Justices VM Kanade and Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi, hearing a public interest litigation filed by social activist Swati Patil on rising weight of school bags and its adverse impact on the health of children, gave three weeks to the Government to take a decision.

Soon after the petition was filed, government had appointed a committee which had submitted several recommendations.

As per the committee report, students are lugging school bags 20-30% heavier than what children of their age should carry. Because of this, around 60% students below the age of 10 suffer from orthopaedic as well as stress-induced ailments.

The committee recommended that one book should be used for three months for each subject and the text book weight can be reduced by using less weight paper and no hardcover.

Further, it suggested use of e-classroom, audio-visual technology and other technological means for teaching. Government had informed the HC that the committee report and its resolution on reducing the weight of school bags was only recommendatory in nature.

“This is a serious issue. Government has to take a decision soon. Have you (government) issued instruction to the schools about the resolution?” the Court said.