Reethu, a story teller, a person often found between the pages of a book or contemplating the nuances of life.
With education moving online amid the COVID-19 pandemic, several students in the remote Morni village, in Badisher, are forced to walk miles to access a smartphone.
In the village, the majority of the population don't have smartphones and also face interrupted networks, which forces the kids to walk to a house where they can access online classes.
In the case of Karamjeet and his two sisters, they have to walk to Rinku's house, one of the village boys who possess a smartphone, where they take turns to take down notes from the videos teachers sent to Rinku's phone, reported The Indian Express.
While Karamjeet is in class 11, his sisters are in classes 5 and 7. Karamjeet's father, Om Prakash, is a farmer and cannot afford a smart phone, which compelled him to send his kids to a village boy's house to study.
"I had some savings but due to the lockdown, all of them were spent on survival only. Now, I am planning that the produce of tomatoes is sold by a month. With that money, I will purchase a smartphone for the kids, so that they don't have to travel so much to access a smartphone," he told the media.
"I just use this simple phone but it is not of any use to kids. So, till the time the sale of tomatoes takes place, I am sending kids to the house of the boy who has a smartphone. We had never thought that studies will be done only on touch phone," he further said.
It is a similar ordeal for the village's Bhawna, Mamta, Kulwanti, and Deepak from Government school, Koti, who have to travel to Amri Devi, a relative's place to access a smartphone.
"In the evening, all of them have to work in the farm. So, during the afternoon, they all come with their notebooks and copy from the notes sent by the teacher and the lesson videos on my phone. It is a struggle, but that is the only way to learn things. Since April, the classes have been in online mode," said Devi, a college student of Government Polytechnic college, Morni. The kids go to Devi's place after she's done with her online classes.
She added that since there are no WiFi facilities, recharge is yet another problem they face.
Meanwhile, Pawan Jain, Principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Koti, said that nearly 20 per cent of the total 190 students from his school does not have a smartphone.
"Till now, they have just been jotting down notes by going to different houses to access a smart phone. But network and recharge are also a problem, their internet data pack finishes in four five days. We have registered these phones numbers in our groups from where these students study," he said.Also Read: Himachal Pradesh: Man Sells Cow To Buy Smartphone For Kids' Online Classes
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