‘Save My Back’, an online petition to reduce the weight of children’s schoolbags, has already been signed by about 500 concerned parents. The petition, initiated by Delhi NGO Uday Foundation, can be found at Change.org. It is addressed to India’s Human Resources Development Ministry that already has a policy related to the weight of school bags in place for the various Kendriya Vidyalayas across India. According to Rahul Verma, founder of the NGO, both NCERT and CBSE have policies on the weight of school bags since a 1993 directive. But it is not mandatory for schools to follow. As a result, students are sometimes found to be hauling up to 10 kg on their backs. The Kendriya Vidyalaya policy says that school bags for Classes 1 and 2 should not weigh more than 2 kg. For Classes 3 and 4, the bag weight should be less than 3 kg, and those studying in Classes 5 to 8 shouldn’t carry bags heavier than 4 kg. The upper limit for senior classes from 9 to 12 has been set at 6 kg. Verma says a better policy would be to provide lockers in school instead of forcing students to carry any weight at all.
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