Digital divide holds poor kids prisoners of device Arya Praharaj
The Times of India Delhi|January 18, 2022
Chote Lal has two children. The daughter is a Class XI student and the son is in Class VIII at a Delhi government school in southwest Delhi’s Palam. His wife, who is a domestic worker, takes the only phone in the household to work. This means the two children are unable to attend online classes and Lal is worried about the disruption in their studies.
Shradha.Chettri

This is not just the story of Chote Lal’s family. In every government school, more than 10% of the students don’t have smartphones. The devices are absolutely necessary when schools are closed and students have to attend online classes. “My children get to do only 40% of their studies. I really don’t know how they are going to get educated,” despaired Lal, who lost both his legs in an accident and cannot work anymore.

A family in southeast Delhi’s Madanpur Khadar had just one phone for the two Class X students in the family. Till last year, that phone was shared by three, but the eldest daughter, Anu, passed Class XII in 2021. “My brother and my uncle’s son depend for their studies on my father’s phone,” revealed Anu, who is now working and is enrolled at Delhi University’s School of Open Learning. “They get the phone only at night because my father, a generator mechanic, carries it with him during the day.”

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