Kerala

'Network' helps to narrow digital gap in Kerala’s tribal areas

KANNUR

An initiative called ‘Network’, started with an aim to narrow down digital gap and to provide necessary learning equipment for less socially and economically affluent children, especially in the tribal areas, is receiving huge response in Kannur.

Member of Parliament V. Sivadasan, who is heading the initiative, said it was started after people began complaining about the difficulties faced by children who were unable to watch classes regularly due to damage in their smart phones or tab or even TV.

He said the number of children experiencing these difficulties was relatively high in densely populated areas where there were socially and economically backward families. The initiative ‘Network’ was started to address the problem faced in tribal areas, especially in Irrity and Peravoor.

As a first step, it was decided to distribute smartphones and tabs to all the disadvantaged children in the area, as part of their learning activities on digital platforms. “No child should be left alone and lose an opportunity to learn or stray from the path of learning,” Mr. Sivadasan said.

Soon after the launch, the NGO union had stepped in to hand over a television and mobile phones to children from Payam Kondabra colony. The union also announced that learning materials would be provided to another colony in the tribal area.

Mr. Sivadasan said more and more people and organisations were becoming part of the ‘Network’. He observed that one of the dangers of digital education was that it reduced education to personal responsibility, freeing society and State of any major role.

The State government was trying to fill this gap by providing study rooms, distributing lunch kits, and providing free textbooks. This was to underline that education was a social responsibility even in times of epidemic, he said.

The MP said Aralam, Muzhakkunnu, Peravoor, Kelakam, Kottiyoor, Payam and Ayyankunnu panchayats and Iritti municipality had most backward sections of the tribal community.

K. Sudhakaran, president, Peravoor block panchayat, who is coordinating the initiative, said they were encouraging everyone to join hands in the effort. Mr. Sudhakaran said that a joint account in his name and in the name of Irrity municipality chairperson had also been started to collect funds to purchase digital devices.


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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 9:12:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/network-helps-to-narrow-digital-gap-in-keralas-tribal-areas/article34822136.ece

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