Amidst so much negativity and gloomy COVID times around, some stories always win our hearts!
Throughout India and also globally, schools have resorted to online education amidst the current pandemic. However, many students from lesser fortunate families in rural areas are deprived of education due to lack of mobile phones due to financial constraints. Parents who work as farm labourers do not have the means to provide smartphones for their children. Despite this challenging situation, the interest and enthusiasm of students in rural areas towards education is not diminishing. One such motivating story was reported Osmanabad in Maharashtra.
13-year-old Prem, son of Datta Gaikwad from Betjavalga in Umarga taluka had been deprived of education because his family could not afford a smartphone. Prem’s family works on someone else’s farm and it was difficult for them to buy their son such expensive gadget – even if it meant for basic education. The Gaikwad couple work hard to recover household expenses with the daily wage their receive from the field.
However, the young boy has set an exemplary precedent by working in the field with his parents for a month and purchasing a smartphone from the money he earned by toiling.
On one hand it is a matter of pride for Prem who has not resorted to being dependent on anyone and carved a solution for himself. However, on the other hand, the story would also raise several questions on the condition of our youth and generation next who is so keen to educate themselves, yet have to slog vis a vis their peers who belong to well to do families.
Surely, times in COVID are unprecedented, however, each state government must ensure that no child misses out on their online education. In some countries, governments have started online classes on national tv for government school children. Can India also look at such options, so that children from a local village could perhaps gather in smaller groups and sit at a distance while studying.
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