By JAKARTA, May 12 (Reuters) – Nepal is launching a new children’s school bag that can be packed to make it more efficient and more cost-effective, a step that will help ease overcrowding and encourage parents to get out and buy their own bags.
The new school bags, made by a Chinese firm called Nissin, will be unveiled at a government meeting on Thursday and will cost 1,500 Nepali rupees ($23) each.
Nepal has one of the highest birth rates in the world and the government has a goal of reducing the country’s overall birth rate by 80 percent by 2025.
The country’s poor sanitation has forced more than 50 million to abandon their homes this year, putting the country at the top of a global list of countries with the highest rates of child mortality.
The government says the new school packs are designed to be used as emergency supplies for the most vulnerable students and will also help ease the burden of the overcrowding in schools.
They will be equipped with a collapsible handle that can hold up to 20 students and a foldable lid that folds into a small pouch for storing other items.
They also have a drawstring bag that is designed to hold up one to two children and a removable pocket to store school supplies.
The bags will be made from recycled materials and made from high-quality, environmentally friendly materials.
Nissin said it will make the new bags for schools, kindergartens, elementary schools, middle schools and secondary schools.
The ministry said it is working with the National Development and Reform Commission to launch the new system.
“The new bag is being designed for the children in the poorest and most vulnerable communities,” Nissini CEO Mahendra Prabhakar said in a statement.
“This system will help the children from the most deprived families and bring more resources to the schools to enable them to succeed in school.”
Nissini, which is based in Beijing, had been testing new bags that it claims can be used to save lives and help ease child mortality in India, Indonesia and Brazil.
In 2014, the company was awarded a $1.6 billion contract to build a new backpack designed to fit a child’s body weight.
Its bags can hold a maximum of 20 students, and they have a fold-down lid to hold books and other items, according to the company.
It has also developed a system for making a “mini backpack” which is designed for children in India and will have a smaller bag that will hold one to five students.
The company has also launched a backpack that has been successfully used by children in Brazil, where it has a 500,000 bag capacity and a $200 price tag.
Nissein is one of a number of Chinese companies developing new bags, including one that can carry up to 40 people.
China is the world’s largest consumer of child labor, but the government in recent years has begun cracking down on child labor in the country.
In April, Nepal became the first country in the Himalayan nation to pass a law making child labor illegal.
(Reporting by Saira Gaur and Praveen Bhandari; Editing by Riya Shahidi)