Fed up of seeing children carrying heavy bags to school, managing director of the Habitat Group of Schools, Shamsu Zaman C.T., decided it was time to redesign and reinvent the traditional school bag.
"Being a father myself, I have seen how children struggle to carry or pull heavily loaded school bags as they go to school. Studies have shown that carrying more than 15-20 per cent of their body weight can be damaging to a child's health, he said.
"Most of the bags children bring are not designed to address these issues, for instance, very few customised and size-appropriate bags are available in the market. This is what made us think of a new kind of school bag," he went on to say.
After discussions with the groups deans and academic heads plus additional consultations with paediatric and orthopedic doctors, the group has created a healthier schoolbag design to be rolled out across their schools.
The custom bag for students at the International Indian School, Ajman and Habitat Schools across the Northern Emirates boasts an added hip belt for additional support, foam back rest and handles on two sides.
In addition, the new bag contains a special slot designed to hold a lunch box and comes in three distinct colours to identify which sector of the school the child is attending, from Foundation through to Secondary.
Dr Jamaludeen Aboobacker, paediatrician and director of Metro Medical Centre told the Khaleej Times, "the bag is carefully designed and has good features like hip straps which help in distributing the weight of the bag evenly across the back. This will reduce bending of the spine backwards, which otherwise can result in back pain."
Academic Director CT Adil explained that there are additional benefits to the new bag, "one major aspect of these bags is the way these bags can function as equalisers among students who come from as many as 31 countries, reducing the distraction that fashionable bags do cause."