Express News Service
BARIPADA: With classes going online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 48-year-old Ganeshwar Jena, a daily wager of tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj district, did not let poverty come in way of his daughter’s education. He sold his only cow to purchase a smart phone for his daughter so that her studies are not hampered.
A resident of Dutikadeipur village of Khaladi panchayat within Udala police limits, Ganeshwar toiled hard to eke out a living and sustain his family. When Covid-19 broke out, he was left with no work and his daughter Koushalya, a Class IX student of Jualia Adarsha Vidyalaya, stopped going to school due to suspension of classes.
When the school authorities decided to conduct online classes, Ganeshwar was in a fix since he had no money to buy a smart phone. At the same time, he didn’t want his daughter’s studies to get affected as she had secured good marks in last year’s examinations. Left with no options, he decided to sell his cow.
Ganeshwar said, “When all the friends of my daughter were attending online classes, Koushalya used to sit at home as we didn’t have a smart phone. It hurt me a lot to see my daughter’s studies suffer. Though Koushalya never asked me to buy her a phone as she knew my financial condition, I could not bear to see such a bright student sitting idle at home.
I sold my cow for Rs 6,500, arranged Rs 2,000 from a relative and bought her a smart phone three days back.” Koushalya’s mother Manjulata said she could not let their poor financial condition hamper her daughter’s education. “Since my husband is a daily labourer, we were unable to save much for such a situation. Since the cow was our only valuable possession, we decided to sell it for our daughter’s future,” she said.
A happy Koushalya said when online classes were started, she could not approach her parents for a phone as she knew about their condition. And she felt embarrassed to ask a friend for help.
“My parents understood my situation and to my surprise, they bought me a phone. Since the last three days, I am attending classes regularly,” she said. Since there is poor network connectivity in the village, Koushalya has to sit on the verandah of her house for online classes.