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Making E-Learning Inclusive: Our Initiative to Provide Internet Access to a Village

Photograph of a tall tower against blue sky with white clouds. It is towering above some trees.With the help of donors, IDIA sponsored construction of a mini tele tower in August 2020 that helped an entire village have access to internet! Here’s the story behind it.

Jiyarul Hoque is an IDIA Scholar, who is currently studying law is his fourth year at National Law University, Odisha. Due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, he is currently at his home in a village called Purbo Shreepati Nagar in the Sundarbans area of West Bengal. The college had scheduled online classes to start on August 1 2020. However, Jiyarul faced a problem with this like many others in his village who needed access to online education. There were internet connectivity issues in his village that were exacerbated after the destruction of the tele tower in his village due to Cyclone Amphan.

Image of a map with a pin in West Bengal
Purbo Shreepati Nagar that is pinned here is a small village that is not even on maps and is hard to locate.

His mobile internet would work sporadically, if at all. An internet dongle would also not work, due to his village being remotely connected. Also, it would be difficult to send Jiyarul to the nearest big city, Kolkata, due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Finding him accommodation in a hostel or a PG in Kolkata would have come at a great risk.

IDIA came with a solution that would benefit him and others in his village. We got a whole mini tele tower installed in his village so that he could use internet!  This wasn’t easy – we had to find a person to install the same who had had to cross two rivers every day for over a week to get to done amidst heavy rainfall during those days. Braving all odds, the tower is finally standing up tall.

Two photos: On left there are some people climbing over a tower and constructing it; and on the right, there is a man walking with a child on his shoulder and the tower showing in the background.The tower is not only benefiting Jiyarul in attending online classes but there also 7 other school students from his village who are using the internet for their school studies as their schools are sending study material. Jiyarul says “In the future, I will try to get IDIA trainees from the surrounding areas and we can use the internet to train them well and prepare them for CLAT”.

IDIA hopes that this tower allows for more and more students from nearby villages to access better and quality education at all times. This is just an indication of IDIA’s commitment to make education diverse, inclusive and accessible for all!

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