Heavy Bags NO NO


Uttar Pradesh


Sadhna Singh




Priyal Modi,

Avya Jain,

Ishan Singh,

Pratyush Yadav,

Step 1 FEEL

Increased number of cases of Cervical injury, spine weakness, Shoulder pain in young children; Carrying bags full of books to the 4th floor became a challenge for the young kids' frail bodies; Bodily aches and pains were reported by parents at the PTM's ; Noise in the corridors in between class time; Students were reluctant to run or play or do physical exercise.

Heavy bags: the cause of the aches and pains of the young generations : weight of school bags had to be reduced because the healthy future of our friends depended on it. We needed to find what the people know, what were the facts of the, matter, and how have others managed to solve this problem... We felt that we could make an impact here, as our peers are going to experience hardship sooner or later, and so will we too. Bad posture of students while walking, sitting, carrying their bags also contributed significantly to Backache.

Students of classes 3, onwards: Kids were afraid to carry fewer books than peers in case the teachers decided to teach from that particular book on any particular day, and they will be discovered as a defaulter i.e. few Teachers were not aware that their mistake of not complying with the timetable caused a problem; Parents too were oblivious at times of the need to set bags accordingly; Its not only books that had weight to be managed- tiffins, water bottles, pencil boxes, bags itself too had some weight to it. Some students, fond of reading carried storybooks for reading in free time and breaks, and in the bus;Heavy bags being carried to higher floors made kids' backs' ache;

Step 2 Imagine

1. We need to make sure that the timetable is followed by all ; 2. We must make everyone aware of the effects of carrying heavy bags on our backs at a young age. 3. Can we change the timetables according to the weight of the books? 4. How many things are constant in the weight of the bag? can we eliminate some? 5. Tiffins & water bottles can be carried in separate jute bags, but will it make a difference on the overall effects? 6. Can we keep some stuff in the school as we did in Kindergarten? Let's ask! 7. Storybooks: We can keep a mini library in the with books to read, so kids don't have to carry reading books.

Almost all of the solutions were implemented- from information sharing, starting classroom libraries, cool water dispenser and cupboards requested on our floor so that we can do away with heavy bottles, discussed the timetable and the changes it required with our academic head: it was the need of the hour to get urgent results and help our colleagues to overcome their hardships. We felt that more tries will achieve more we tried to do as much as possible at the time so that the urgency of the matter will be grasped by all.

Step 3DO

We began with finding out the ideal weight allowed of a backpack or school bag for schools ( 10% to 15% of the person's weight is ideal for backpacks) We discussed our ideas with our Academic head to reduce the number of books carried per day: to adjust the timetable according to this We demanded for cupboards to keep the heavy books (like Maths text & dictionary) and extra copies (like revision/remedial/test copies) which were either daily required of very seldom required. We procured a digital scale and started weighing our friends and their bags, and telling them if their bags were too heavy, to adjust their bags for a better future. Children found with heavy bags were called out of the classroom, after again weighing their bags with the manual scale in front of the others; they were spoken to about their health and effects of heavy bags. We went into the classrooms and asked children if they had kept books according to the timetable, then we opened their bags and checked if it was accordingly arranged. We called out those with extra books and copies for a presentation on the harmful effects of heavy bags. We made a board on the topic, presented the facts and a skit on the Assembly regarding the regulations for the weight of school bags and how the backpacks should be worn/carried properly (for correct posture and to reduce strain on the back)

The timetable was being followed since nobody kept extra books, the temptation not to follow by teachers too was solved :) We were appreciated by Our head Mistress ma'am for taking initiative and being change-makers in the school. Other schools of Sunbeam were also told to implement bag checks and reduction in timetable weight by adding double periods and keeping cupboards in the classrooms for daily required books. Physical activities in games period was more energetically done ...less fatigue= more energy Even late comers to school were reduced (because the habit of setting their timetable an evening before got introduced and since good rest benefitted us)


Headmistress " I'm happy that my Junior school was able to take up this challenge of solving their own problem in a creative way. Well Done" Parent of Aloukik Jaiswal class IV " Yes, I am very happy that now my son is taking care to set his timetable, and even I have noticed, nowadays he's not complaining of his legs being sore also, "

Few children were still being lazy about setting the timetable, but when we checked and kept calling them out of the class, they were embarrassed and started taking care. Also, it took some more time to get cupboards made and installed in all the classrooms on the third floor, but we kept asking and asking till it was made and keys were given to us to use. Water bottles were still an issue since people were concerned that water in dispensers maybe too cold or warm.


Good health and well being

Because the health of today's children is the health of tomorrows leaders of the country. As it is said Health is wealth. So we can find that being healthy, people are happy and they can share good times.

Step 4 SHARE

We have made a register of all the things we have done and display it in the PTMs. The photographs clicked by our teachers of our challenge facing implementations and progress in this venture were shared by them through the school mobile App, and on our school FB account, SMS of the photo links were sent to the parents of the students in junior school as well. Seeing the effect and appreciating our project, Notices for controlling the weight of bags were also distributed in all our schools 6 Branches in Varanasi and 16 Associated schools across UP. Our sister Branches also have placed almirahs now in all classrooms for keeping extra books needed daily or at particular times. This started off as a change we needed and realised it was needed by all ... so we were so happy to share our solutions that worked.

More than 100

We are still conducting random bag weight checks, and timetable setting checks in the classes. Once in any day of the week we go to different classes, senior or junior, and check their bags for extra weight. We are also planning to go to other local schools and make them also follow us to keep good health and well being of the students other than Sunbeams.