Beyond Metros

Age no bar! 12-year-old school kid plans protest against heavy bags

Protests by adults is passe now, a school kid in Nagpur will lead an agitation in Chandrapur near Nagpur in Maharashtra on October 2 to protest heavy school bags.

Rugved Raikwar, who studies in Vidyaniketan School in Chandrapur, plans to hold a sit-in to draw the attention of the state administration towards the hardships and health hazards which the students face due to heavy bags.

“Reducing the weight is the core remedy,” Rugved told reporters on Wednesday ahead of the agitation, which he says “is the first tiny step in the direction” of resolving the issue.

Earlier, he had written a letter to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in this regard.

“A 15-day time would have been sufficient for the government to formulate norms on reducing burden of school bags and thus fulfil my demand. But nothing has been done so far. This apathy has forced me to battle it out with them. And Gandhi Jayanti – October 2 – is the best day to wage a war against the burden students are forced to bear,” he said.

While he has applied to the local police for a formal permission for his proposed day-long protest, he has not received any reply yet. According to the police, he may not receive an approval after all, given his young age.

“I am going ahead with the agitation for the sake of thousands of students like me. After all, it is a question of health as well as the future of students,” he said.

Last month Rugved, along with one of his classmates, had held a press conference on the issue and offered some alternatives to resolve the problem. However, according to the boys, the school administration refused to acknowledge them.

According to a Bombay High Court directive in the matter the state government is supposed to enforce strict guidelines on reducing weight of school bags. It also said that it was the responsibility of principals and school management to ensure that the guidelines were followed.

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