The educational infrastructure in India, especially in rural areas, needs immense work and improvement as many villages and small towns are still struggling to provide even the basic academic facilities to school children. There are numerous schools in India where children study sitting on the floor and hunching over to the books placed in their laps which can lead to not just posture issues but also tamper with their concentration. This motivated Himanshu Muneshwar Deore, a Bengaluru student with a degree in product design from Hennur’s NICC International College of Design could not bear this sight of students and as a part of his final year project, he made a unique ergonomic schoolbag-cum-desk which can also be used as a desk.
The Motivation behind the Schoolbag-cum-desk
The 24-year old Himanshu is originally from Nagpur and he always noticed students hunching over their books sitting on the floor back in his hometown. Due to the unavailability of proper infrastructure in schools, many classrooms have no desks thus students have to sit on the floor. The Bengaluru student made the schoolbag-cum-desk using his own developed technique inspired by artisans curating baskets using indigenous moonj grass for which he went to Naina in Uttar Pradesh to learn this four-decade-long craft from the local artisans.
“I stumbled upon the craft during an exhibition in the city and was fascinated by their work. I had always wanted to work on something to help children who are struggling with posture issues due to lack of desks in schools”, Himanshu told Times of India.
Himanshu spent three months learning the techniques of making baskets from the skilled artisans and developed the design for the bag there. He even turned down an internship and a job opportunity in order to work for this project.
The design of the schoolbag-cum-desk has been made after looking at all the technicalities from various angles. The bag has two straps and uses cloth, bamboo and two metal stands that act as legs for the desk and supports the side of the bag as well. After careful analysis of the technicalities, the bag has been made to carry a load of 3 kg. Himanshu studied the whole concept in-depth with learning the basics about anthropometry and ergonomics. He also closely worked with a class 5th student in order to make the design more practical and further spent extensive time calculating the size and measured the distance, height and angle that the student uses and made the prototype with these dimensions only.
So far, the design has received a positive response from all the students who have used it in the trial phase. Himanshu is still working continuously to update the design and reach out to as many students as possible. The world surely needs more creative innovators like Himanshu Deora from Bengaluru and his unique schoolbag-cum-desk will surely help schoolchildren find the right posture and focus! Stay tuned to Leverage Edu for more such inspiring news stories from the global educational sphere!