Jharkhand to set up gadget bank to facilitate online classes for underprivileged kids

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Express News Service

RANCHI: Jharkhand will soon create an electronic gadget bank by using the discarded electronic devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tabs and distribute them among underprivileged children to help them attend online classes.

According to the Director-General of Police (DGP) Neeraj Sinha, the initiative has been taken by the state police to bridge the digital divide among children.

“Due to the existing inequality in our society, access to online classes among the children is limited which has created a digital divide. Those having smartphones or laptops can attend online classes but those who lack them are not able to do so This is likely to increase the existing inequality in society,” said the DGP. If people are not able to get educated, there are chances that they may tend to move towards crime, he added.

Therefore, the DGP said, this initiative has been taken by Jharkhand Police under community policing to bridge the digital divide.

The DGP said that a complete blueprint has already been prepared. “Mobile and computer devices are generally discarded by the people after using them for one or two years as they get outdated very fast. People are reluctant to give it to anybody as they believe that it might get misused by others for which only the owner of that device will be held responsible,” said DGP Neeraj Sinha. 

According to DGP, the police department has found a way out — the moment a person submits his or her device to the police, an entry will be made in the station diary about the owner of the device.

“The moment he or she submits the device to the police station, he will be freed from all responsibilities related to that particular device,” said the DGP. A copy of the station diary, having all details about the device, will also be provided to that person as proof that he has submitted his mobile phone or laptop to the police, he added.

The DGP further added that any mobile phone, laptop, or tab coming to the police station will be sent to the district headquarters and the SPs concerned will hand over the device to a needy student on the recommendation of the principal of his/her school. An undertaking will be taken from the students and their parents to use the device only for online classes.

Notably, the data available with the state government suggests that over 65% of students enrolled with government schools in Jharkhand have no access to online classes as they don’t have a smartphone at their homes.
 



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