A woman in Odisha's Bhubaneshwar was forced to sell her only pair of gold earrings so that she could buy a smartphone for her daughter's online classes.
According to a report by The Telegraph, Mason Gagan Bhoi and wife Rita were left helpless when their 13-year-old daughter Archita's school shifted to online classes during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Archita, who studies in class 8, is one of the millions of children in India who cannot afford a smartphone which is essential to attend online classes.
Her parents did not have money needed to buy a phone, especially since her father had been left without an income for over three months due to the pandemic. They could not take a loan either because moneylenders charge a lot of interest.
Rita then decided to sell her only gold earrings, which she had gotten from her parents during her wedding, so as to buy the phone. Rita told reporters that the decision to sell the earrings was tough because her late mother had given it to her and asked her to pass it on to the next generation. However, she didn't have any other option and said that her daughter's future is more important than her gold earrings.
Thousands of families are struggling with most schools shifting to online classes, which require a basic smartphone and a stable internet connection - a luxury majority of Indian students do not have.
A few days ago, a poor family in the BJP-ruled Himachal Pradesh had to sell their cow, a substantial source of income, for just Rs 6,000 to buy a smartphone so that their two children could stay connected with online studies amid the COVID-19 lockdown.