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Tyakshi, a border village in Ladakh, became part of India after the 1971 war with Pakistan. The lack of telecommunication and internet connectivity near the Line of Control makes it difficult for school and college students to attend online classes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Erratic internet services is not news for this Union territory, but the pandemic has affected students too much and they are now lagging behind in the field of education.
As there is no proper internet, it took at least 4 days for me to send across videos to The Quint for this story.
With no 3G connection in Tyakshi, students have to travel far in search for internet connectivity. Hence, students here are not able to attend the online classes that are scheduled by their respective schools and colleges.
“We have to travel at least 10-20 km to attend online classes. And with the weather (conditions) in winter, we find it very hard to travel and sit in an open space to attend the classes.”Arif Hussain, College Student
Not all the students have the facility of travelling in a vehicle, so many have to walk the distance in biting cold to attend classes.
“I have missed out on classes and even missed the date to fill exam forms that are released online. To fill out an exam form, I have to travel 85 km to the village headquarters.”Gulzar Ahmad, College Student
Other border villages around, like Nubra, Dras and Kargil, have a 4G internet connection installed but Tyakshi does not even have 3G connection. Few years ago, a 3G tower was installed in Tyakshi, in an unknown place, but it is not functional to date. The prime minister is talking about Digital India, but here, we do not even have basic internet.
Students have been seeking a better 3G or 4G internet connection and have requested the Governor of Ladakh to restore internet facilities. BSNL is the only working network in the village, but that too functions only during the morning hours.
“I am requesting the government to restore the 3G network in the already built 3G tower. I also request them to install 4G internet by Jio or Airtel for student use.”Arif Hussain, College Student
We have lodged multiple complaints, but no one has addressed locals’ issues or come forward to help us solve them. The kids of Ladakh’s villages are neither able to study, nor are they able to be on equal footing with students in other parts of the country.
(All ‘My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)