Guwahati (Assam) [India], July 3 (ANI): Several children belonging to the economically weaker sections in Assam's Guwahati are unable to attend online classes during the COVID-19 pandemic as they cannot afford smartphones.
With the COVID restrictions in place for over a year, schools have remained shut to impart physical classes.
Many poor families do not possess smartphones to provide their children the opportunity to continue their studies. This is plight of several families residing in Pandu area of Guwahati and are now seeking government's aid.
Children in the area, who are still enthusiastic to study, have been pushed to the sidelines.
Take the case of Umme Kulchand, a student of Class III who relies on her sister to help her study.
Papiya Das, Class VIII student told ANI that her studies have been majorly affected due to the pandemic. "The studies are not going well. I have two siblings and we have no mobile, so we are not able to study. My father does not have a smartphone. He has one old-fashioned mobile, on which we cannot take online classes. He is a painter by profession," she said.
A woman, Shahida Khatun, said, "We are poor people, we have a small mobile. We do not have big mobile phone. Some other children are studying who have a smartphone. However, our children are not able to continue with their studies. I have three children - two girls and one boy."
Hoping that the government will take note of their plight, she said, "Children can study if the government gives mobiles."
Kalpana Devi, another woman who lives in the area, questioned "What will we do? Feed ourselves with what we earn or buy a mobile for our children?"
"It is because of our lack of finances that we cannot give our children mobile phone to study. Thus, they are not able to. Everyone has resort to online classes, but we could not. We have no mobile phone," said Devi.
"We are hoping that the government would help us," she added. (ANI)