As education goes online, these ‘digitally backward’ Kashmiri students climb hills in search of signal

Srinagar: Even as people around the world are getting used to the online way of doing things, be it education or work, the students of Limber Boniyar village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla climb hills despite the fear of animal attacks in search of mobile signal.

The network issue in the village has forced the students, who fear they would not be able to compete with students from the other parts of the country, to hike 4 km every day from their village to a dense patch of forest where they could find network.

“Sima, a student of class 10 said, “We are facing a big issue of network. We don’t get network here for the last three years. Since the (COVID-19) pandemic broke out, we are unable to attend the online classes.”

“We have climb three to four kilometres on the hilltop where we get network from a neighbouring village so that we can attend the online classes. We wish you take our voice to authorities so that this problem is solved and we get justice,” she told Zee Media.

The area falls under the Limber Wild Life Sanctuary and is surrounded by dense forests where there is a high probability of encountering wild animals.

The students said they are unable to concentrate on their studies as they fear attacks by wilds animals.

“We can’t concentrate even here on studies as it’s a forest area and we always carry a fear of wild animals. It’s at the top of the hill, where we get phone signal. We wish authorities take note of our problems and help us to study properly,” said Arifa, another student.

The students said they fear they may not be able to compete with students of the remaining country and that they feel digitally backward.

As the rest of the country is leading a digital life under Digital India, Limber Boniyar has been left behind. The students hope the administration, especially Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha, looks into their problem and helps them.

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