The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to inquire whether schools across the state had enforced its resolution to enforce a cap on the weight of the school bags carried by students.
The direction came after the court was informed by the state government that it had set up a committee to ensure that children in schools across the state are not required to carry heavy school bags.
The state informed HC that it had also issued a Government Resolution (GR) directing that the weight of the bags be limited and that among other things, schools must provide lockers or such spaces for students to keep their exercise books so that they do not have to carry those with them each day.
A bench of Justices V M Kanade and Revati Mohite-Dere were hearing a PIL seeking a directive to the state government in reducing school bag weight. The PIL had cited a government committee report stating that children carry schoolbags which are 20 to 30 percent heavier than what should be carried by children of their age, and because of the same, at least 60 percent of students below the age of 10 suffer from orthopaedic as well as stress-induced ailments.
Following the court’s directions, the state issued a GR mandating that schools and parents must ensure that the weight of the bags carried by students should not exceed 10 percent of their respective body weight.
“Issuing the GR is the first step towards creating a policy. Ensure that the GR is made available across all schools and ensure its implementation,” the bench said while scheduling the next hearing in the matter for March 8 this year.