With schools and colleges being shut due to the pandemic, studies have moved online, however, not everyone in India is privileged enough to have a steady internet connection or has access to smartphone and laptops.
While many are unable to attend classes due to the availability of these resources, some are going to all possible lengths to ensure that they don’t miss out.
One such case is of Manalodai village on Pachamalai hill in Tiruchy, where students embark on a 1km-trek every day to get internet connectivity. As per The New Indian Express, the students make this daily-dangerous trek to reach one particular cave-like spot on the top of the hill because that is the only place they access the Internet and join their online classes.
Students from Thonur, Chinna Iluppur, Thalur and Melur, also make this trek for their classes.
Explaining the difficulty that students are facing, S Deepika, a class 12 Biology group student at the Government Girls’ Higher Secondary School at Manachanallur said, “From the first week of August, our teachers started taking classes online. They send recorded videos to a Whatsapp group of students. We have to download those videos to listen to their class. But we do not have internet in our village. Only at this spot are we able to get notifications and download the videos.”
Many students have complained that the slow Internet placed them at a disadvantage. Sadly, there is only one BSNL tower on the hill through which the villages get mobile signals to make phone calls.
In a similar story, a teacher in Dhadgaon village, Nandurbar district has to give lessons to children while sitting atop a tree in order to get better network connectivity.