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July 12, 2010

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  MUKESH JAIN: ACTIVISM TO REDUCE THE WEIGHT OF SCHOOL BAGS
Mukesh Jain, Mattanchery, Ernakulam

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One day in 2004, on the way from his home at Mattanchery to Ernakulam, Mukesh Jain, a tea merchant saw something that had been very common sight till then.  However, his reaction to it and subsequent steps led to a huge relief for the children of the State.

What struck Jainís eye was the sight of a tiny girl, lifting the huge load of her school bag and struggling to run after a bus.  Though it was an emotionally upsetting scene, soon his tradesman pragmatism came to the fore.

He started studying the contents of his sonsí school bags and their weight.  He looked at issues like how many books need to be carried to school everyday, how much portion will be covered in a day, how many working days will be there in a year etc.  He split the academic year in to three terms and thought of stapling together all textbook portions for a term.

Soon he started sharing this idea with others. Then in 2005, he presented this proposal to the then DEO, Smt.Baby Usha Kiran.  With her support, the school bag weight reducing idea of Mukesh was experimented in one class of standard 5 in Haji Esa Haji Moosa Memorial School, Mattanchery.  In this scheme, students would write in sheets of paper and file them at home in different folders.  The experiment was a success.

Now Government pitched in and scaled up the experiment to all the 302 schools of Ernakulam  District for 2006-07.  And later the one-text-book-for-one-term idea was implemented in all the schools of the State.  Thus by his sensitivity, research and persistence, he had become a benefactor for the countless children of the State.

Mukesh has also taken about 1000 photographs and exhibits them to highlight the plight of students carrying heavy school bags.

 

Courtesy: Aarogya Padmam, June 2010
Contributed by: Administrator

"He is wise who looks ahead."