“Bilkul kum ho gaya hai (yes, the weight has reduced drastically),” says Naina, a student of class 3 studying at Government Senior Secondary School Vatika of Jaipur as she talks about her bag and the initiative taken by the government.
“I walk to school, which is about 25 minutes from home. Earlier, I carried four books, but now I carry just one,” she says. She is not alone who is enjoying the relief from a heavy school bag. Her classmate Neeraj says, “Earlier we used to carry Hindi, English, Mathematics and Environment textbooks, now we carry just one.”
Dev is in class 2 and his home is about 20 minutes away from the school. Earlier, he used to carry three books but now he has to carry one.
The weight of the Dev’s bag has been reduced to 0.30 kg from 0.95 kg.
The above-mentioned students are between classes 1 and 3 and are a part of a state-wide pilot project in Rajasthan. Under the project, one school from each of 33 districts of Rajasthan has been chosen. The government launched Baste Ka Bojh Kam (BKBK) project to make the weight of school bags less. “The psychological pressure has reduced since they have to face just one book now, and the new books are more colourful and interactive too,” says Dr Bhawna Nehla, the Principal.
The project was launched by Govind Singh Dotasra, Rajasthan’s Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education (Independent Charge). Earlier, it was announced for classes 1 to 5 but eventually, the project was restricted to classes 1 to 3.
“It is a pilot project, the outcomes can be gauged from studying Classes 1 to 3 as well,” says Pradeep Kumar Borar, Commissioner, Rajasthan School Shiksha Parishad.