As India went into lockdown last year to curb the spread of the deadly COVID, schools and teachers were overnight confronted with a new reality. And during these tough times, there are teachers who have gone above and beyond their call of duty to help students. Bharti Kalra, vice-principal at Sarvodaya Vidyalaya in Rohini Sector-8, did exactly that by helping poor students amid COVID.
Kalra mobilised people in her circle and collected 321 smartphones through her family and friends that enabled students to attend online classes. For her contribution, she was awarded the Delhi government's Delhi State Teachers' Award on Sunday, September 5 (Teacher's Day).
Kalra said she felt helpless as many students of her school were not able to attend online classes due to a lack of resources, like laptops, tablets, and smartphones. "I felt so helpless at that time. Then, one of our students lost his father due to Covid. I couldn't possibly ask him to buy a smartphone during that time," she said.
One Small Step At A Time
She, somehow, managed to give the student a smartphone. But she realised that the magnitude of the problem was much bigger as many of the students were in a similar predicament.
Later, all the teachers of her school contacted their friends and acquaintances on WhatsApp and discuss the problems faced by these kids during the pandemic. Convincing people, initially, was not an easy task though. However, people slowly warmed up to the idea.
Kalra is one among the 122 teachers schoolteachers to receive the State Teachers' Awards from the Delhi government. Kalra was honoured with 'special award'. At the awards ceremony, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also announced that the Delhi government will fund the education of government school teachers who get selected in the world's top 100 universities for pursuing courses.