The Burden of Heavy School Bags: A Call for Reform  

Children carrying excessively heavy school bags, often heavier than their own weight, experience significant physical and mental stress. Authorities must reduce the burden to prevent long-term harm.

The Burden of Heavy School Bags: A Call for Reform  
The Burden of Heavy School Bags:

Shaikh Mudassir Nazar

"Aisa maktab bhi koi kholay shehr mein, Nasir ! Jahan     aadmi   ko   insaan   banaya   jaye !! "

One heartbreaking sight that has always troubled me is children heading to school with heavy bags. Watching little children, who are like delicate flowers, dragging or carrying school bags heavier than their own weight early in the morning, rubbing their sleepy eyes, is a distressing sight for anyone sensitive. These heavy school bags deeply affect children's physical and mental abilities. With the exams for the year 2024 almost completed, parents have started buying books at the insistence of their children, leading to long queues at the bookshops.

Yesterday, I was also at a bookshop to buy something when I saw a parent insisting on a large bag for the books. When the bookseller asked why, he replied that his son is entering the fourth grade and will have to carry the burden of eighteen books and an equal number of notebooks. The bookseller handed him a very large bag, but I kept wondering how an innocent child would carry such a large and heavy bag on his shoulders. He would be so exhausted that he might forget to study altogether. 

It occurred to me that the education department's authorities need to consider this issue seriously and make a decision after deep thought to reduce this burden. The number of books should be decreased to such an extent that the child can be free from mental stress and also relieved of physical exhaustion. The weight of school children's bags is generally found to be around the same figures.

Carrying excessive weight can cause complaints of neck, shoulder, and spine pain in children. Particularly due to the pain in the spine, the vertebrae can shift, which can cause long-term harm to children. Issues like stunted growth due to age, continuous pain in the neck and shoulders leading to physical and mental stress, affecting studies, or avoiding studying can arise. 

Experts say that the weight of a child's bag should be one-tenth of their body weight, but here it is double. A few days ago, on a TV show about children's health, a doctor was explaining that due to heavy bags, back and shoulder pain is common among children, and the combination of poor diet and heavy bags stunt their growth.

Developed countries around the world are advancing in the field of education by reducing the burden of books on children. But here, the children's bags keep inflating like balloons. Children used to receive education before as well, and it has been observed that they did not have such a large number of books. So why has the number increased to such an extent that it troubles the mind and body of the child?

This is a matter of great concern that the Board of School Education and the education department authorities need to sit together and ponder over how to resolve this issue. Our children are our future, and their success is our future. For God's sake, save your and your children's future from being ruined.

___About Author_____

Shaikh Mudassir Nazar, hailing from Shopian, Kashmir, is a prominent columnist whose insightful articles grace various newspapers. With a focus on pressing social and educational issues, his writings delve deep into matters crucial to our society. Beyond his role as a columnist, Shaikh Mudassir Nazar is also a dedicated educator, enriching minds in his profession as a teacher.