Satara: The pandemic has forced education system to implement electronic mode of education which has affected vulnerable section adversely. A farm widow’s 15-year-old daughter studying in SSC, committed suicide as she was unable to afford a smartphone to attend her online education classes.
According to investigating officer Balkrishna Jagdale of Karad Police Station, the incident happened last Wednesday in a small village, around 15 kms away from the Karad town. “The victim, Sakshi Abasaheb Pol was a student of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) with the Pandit G.B. Pant High School nearby and was required to attend online classes since the past few months in view of the corona pandemic,” said Jagdale.
However, single mother Swati who works as a farm labourer in the village could not afford a smartphone for her daughter as the family’s income was barely sufficient to fullfill basic needs to survive.
Sakshi, who has a 13-year old brother, had been demanding a smartphone since the past few months, but her mother asked her to “wait till we have enough money”.On the morning of September 23, as Swati left to work in the farmlands, an Sakshi again made the demand but her mother expressed sheer helplessness in the matter.Shortly after she left, Sakshi hanged herself in her home, and was found dead later by the family and neighbours, said Jagdale.
The officer added no arrest is made as no FIR is filed or suspect it as a foul play. Sakshi joins the long list of young students hailing from very poor families who cannot afford to buy smartphones or computers with Internet connections to comply with the requirements of online education.
Similarly, in the month of July a class 10 girl committed suicide in Kerala as could not afford smartphone to take online classes. June month also witnessed suicide of 16 year old student in West Bengal citing the same reasons.