While 5G internet has started in many areas in India, there are at least 3500 villages in Uttarakhand where people are still living in the era of 2G internet. Further, 700 villages where there is no mobile network.
Mobile network is not available in 97 villages in Bageshwar, Uttarakhand. Jauna of Bageshwar is one such village. The people in the village are facing the brunt of weak internet connectivity, and the biggest impact is on children's education. Gitanjali, a student of class XI, says that she finds solutions to many questions with the help of Google and YouTube. Many subjects become easier to understand by watching videos on YouTube. But, the network is very slow, due to which she faces interruptions in watching videos.
Class 8 student Nisha says
“During the lockdown, due to Covid, all studies were online. Then, we had only one phone in our house which my father used to take to work, so I was losing a lot of studies”Advertisement
Studying online had become a compulsion during the Covid lockdown, in such a situation parents bought smartphones and gave them to their children despite financial constraints.
Nisha's mother says that
“We arranged money with great difficulty and got our daughter a smartphone so that there would be no problem in her studies. But we do not have any solution to the network problem here, my daughter is still facing problems in her studies.”Advertisement
Gitanjali says that she does not like to study online, it is easier to understand from the teacher in school. Nisha also says that 'schools should not be closed, if we have any doubt in school, we can directly ask the teacher.'
Mamta of Rauliana village, 20 km away from Garud block, says-
“Even when we get phone access for online classes, network issues come in the way. Sometimes one has to go to a certain place on the mountain, 1 km away from home, where the network is available for some time.”
Another schoolgirl said that due to an unstable network, there has hardly been a day when we have completed our classes in the last two years.
Neha of Baghar village of Kapkot block says,
“Due to the lack of internet facility, she has to depend only on books for studies. If there was an internet facility in the village, we could easily get the latest information on many subjects. We could also do online studies through YouTube. Many times the subjects which we are not taught in school, we could get through the internet. Due to the lack of internet, we miss a lot of information, we do not know what is going on around us, in our country.
According to Neha, almost all the adolescent girls in the village are facing this type of problem. Sonia, another teenager from the village says,
“If there was an internet facility in our village, we would not have to go to distant forests to use the internet. It is our compulsion to go there, while the fear of wild animals keeps haunting us that some violent animal may attack us. We want to be aware of the news of the country and the world, so we go there.
This problem is not limited to hilly areas only, there are 25 thousand such villages in the country where mobile connectivity has not reached. It is necessary that children living in remote areas of the country should also get all the opportunities and facilities that an urban child is getting.
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