Stricken by a pandemic and natural disaster, children from remote villages in Maharashtra have had to grapple with internet disruptions since early June when connectivity scratched along the coast of Ratnagiri district.
But when the situation did not improve even after a month, one of the students eventually turned to the Apex children’s rights organization NCPCR for help.
The National Commission for the Protection of the Rights of the Child, in turn, made sure that connectivity was restored in the fastest possible way by reaching out to cell phone companies and the district judge of the area, said Priyank Kanoongo, chairman of the NCPCR.
In his letter to the district judge for the area, Kanoongo stressed that the authorities must ensure that the problem is resolved at the earliest.
“The Commission has become aware of a complaint about poor and disrupted network connections along the coast of the Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra, in particular in the area of the PIN code 415714, which was fatally hit by cyclone Nisarg on June 3, 2020 and since then the residents of the The region has no mobile or data connection, “Kanoongo said in the letter to the district judge on July 25th.
“As a result, around 200 students are having difficulty with online educational activities due to corona barrier. In addition, students have to travel approximately 50 km daily to access data connectivity for their online educational activities,” he said.
He requested the Ratnagiri District Judge to intervene immediately on the matter.
“I hereby draw the kind attention of DM, Ratnagiri, to intervene immediately, establish a connection and give appropriate instructions to the mobile operator concerned so that the Internet connection is restored at the earliest so that no child is the victim of undue pressure or stress about theirs Education, “Kanoongo said in the letter.
Speaking to PTI, Kanoongo said the NCPCR had continuously contacted the authorities and eventually restored internet connectivity in the area through one of the cellular networks, while the rest of them assured that they would solve the problem at the earliest.
“We have intervened and written to the district judge and cell phone companies and dealt with it as a political intervention where NCPCR has a role to play in helping children. As a result, priority has been given to action and the village’s internet connection has been restored,” said he.
He also emphasized that it is very important in these times to offer children an accessible Internet.
“It is very important that if children depend on the internet for their education, it is important to ensure that they have accessible internet facilities,” he said.
The nationwide lockdown by Covid-19 in March prompted schools and colleges to move into the virtual world to teach and learn. But poor internet penetration has made e-education a distant dream for many children in rural areas.
According to official statistics, there are over 35 crore students in the country.