Bhopal: During the COVID 19 epidemic, Kumer Singh, a resident of Amarpura village in Madhya Pradesh’s Sehore district, sank into debted as he bought a mobile by taking out a loan for his daughter’s online education.
Closure of educational institutions due to the epidemic, followed by online education, have caused problems for many poor families in Madhya Pradesh as these families had to buy Android phones for their children’s education, for which they took out a loan. And now they must pay hefty penalties in the form of interest.
Kumer Singh is not the only one who purchased an Android phone with a loan for his daughter’s education. There are a number of such people.
Kumer Singh’s daughter Muskan studies in class VIII. “Due to the Corona epidemic, the emphasis was on online studies. Online studies were possible only when you have an Android phone. I had a phone with a keypad, but for the education of my daughter, we decided to buy a phone,” he states.
The mobile phone cost Rs 7,000, Kumer Singh did not have that amount in a lump sum, so he loaned a sum from the villager and in paid back the amount in several instalments along with interest.
Similar is the story of Lilabai Ivne of Kakaria village, her husband Bhagwant works as a laborer. She bought an Android mobile for the online education of her daughter, who was in Class VI. Lilabai also took a loan because she did not have enough money to pay for the mobile at one go.
Recharging these phones was another financial hurdle faced by these parents.
A teacher from the capital city of Bhopal, on anonymity, said that online education had become a big problem for the poor families. Some of them did not have mobile phones and the ones that did, had more than one child studying. Several times the teachers took it upon themselves to recharge the mobiles used by the students.