Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
Camera: Shiv Kumar Maurya
“If the coronavirus lockdown continues for long, we will have to drop out,” says 15-year-old Sudarshan Singh Baral, his eyes searching for that one network bar on his smartphone.
However, things weren’t always this bad for the Class-10 student from Jaikot village of Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district. Seeking to beat connectivity woes, he had enrolled at a school around 20 kilometres away in Dharchula town, but the coronavirus lockdown pushed him back in life.
"“After the lockdown was announced, my school created a WhatsApp group for Class 10 students. Teachers would send pictures of books on that group and had asked us to work on them. We did this for two to three weeks and after that, the lockdown was announced, and I had to come back to the village. I am unable to attend online classes.”" - Sudarshan Singh Baral
For Baral and many like him in Jaikot, online classes are a distant dream. The village, located on the Indo-Nepal border receives no Indian mobile network, let alone internet connectivity. Villages have to instead rely on Nepali network, which is at best patchy and expensive.
A Matter of Life
For Class-12 student Leela Baral, It’s not a matter of education, but of her entire life. Back to the village from Pithoragarh town, where she was studying, Baral fears that the lack of network could cause her to miss out on online college applications.
Her education disrupted due to lack of network, Leela knows exactly what will follow. With no or little communication with teachers, Leela says she often gets stuck in difficult subjects.
"“Family members pressurise me saying that it’s my age to get married. This is why the lives of many girls go to waste after marriage and their education is left incomplete.”" - Leela Baral . Read more on Videos by The Quint.In U’Khand Village Without Network, Online Classes a Distant DreamXi Jinping’s Tibet Tour is Chinese Propaganda, But India Must Take Note . Read more on Videos by The Quint.