Punjab Asks To Prepare List Of Students Without Smartphones, TV, Internet

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Punjab Asks To Prepare List Of Students Without Smartphones, TV, Internet

Distributing smartphones was Captain Amarinder Singh's poll promise (File)

New Delhi:

The Punjab government has ordered district administrations to collect data of students who don't have access to television, smartphone, radio, laptop and internet, days after a Class 11 girl allegedly committed suicide as she didn't have a smartphone to take online classes.

"We have received orders from the state government to collect the data of such students who don't own mobile phones and other gadgets (to take online classes)…only 50-60 per cent students have smartphones," Jagroop Singh, district education officer, Mansa, told NDTV.

The government has asked district education departments to prepare lists of students having access to TV, mobile phone, internet, radio, personal computer and those who have none.  

In February, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had said that was not able to fulfill his promise of distributing smartphones to the youth because of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

The victim, 17, who was the daughter of a farm labourer in Punjab's Mansa, had been demanding smartphone for weeks but due to poor financial condition her family could not meet her demands.

As per father's statement, the victim used to remain under stress and hence ended her life, Makkhan Singh, the investigating officer had said.

"She kept asking us for a smartphone but I am a farm labourer and couldn't afford it. Hence she ended her life," Jagseer Singh, father of the victim said.

"We have initiated inquest proceedings under section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in this case," Mr Singh had said.

On June 1, a class 10 student in Kerala's Malappuram district set herself on fire as she was unable to attend. She had neither a TV nor a smartphone.

Schools and colleges across the country have been closed since March because of the nationwide lockdown imposed by the central government to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

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