In the second week of the lockdown, apart from spending time with their parents in playing different games, children and teenagers of Desai ni Pol in Khadia area of Ahmedabad have also started making spending around 2 hours a day studying online with the help of their respective teachers.
“We have started studying online. My college is also providing online material so I study accordingly,” says Yesha Desai, a third-year college student from the Pol.
“My younger brother and sister are also doing online study from home on mobile applications or other online means provided by their tutors,” she adds.
Yesha’s father, Hitesh Desai says, “This lockdown is going to be there at least till April 13. So, while children spend time playing, it is also important that they keep themselves updated with the syllabus as well. The children will have to make up for the lost time once the lockdown is lifted and regular studies begin. Many children in our Pol have started online study.”
Darshan Oza, another resident of the Pol, says, “My nephew is in Class XII and he has been studying online for his upcoming online competitive entrance exams. Many other students in the Pol have also started online study.”
Since the beginning of the lockdown, the children in the Pol have been playing various forgotten games like Langdi (hopscotch), Andhali Khiskoli (blindman’s buff) etc. with their parents. Some boys have now also started flying kites in the evening. Eleven-year-old Gopi Desai is one of them.
Gopi’s mother Gitaben says, “These boys decide (evening) time with each other on phone and fly kites from their respective terraces for fun. All have leftover kites and manja from the last Uttarayan. In a way they maintain social distance and have fun also.”
While the children are spending time in playing games and online study, the elders are more concerned about ensuring the lockdown and social distancing in the Pol.
President of the Pol’s resident’s welfare association, Mahesh Soni says, “After so many days of lockdown, some youths had gathered in the Pol and started playing cricket last evening. As soon as we came to know, we immediately warned them not to repeat it. We told them that next time we will call police.”
The elders are conscious about the nationwide call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to light diyas on Sunday night. This is because on March 22, when Modi had given a call for Janata Curfew, Khadia area where Desai-ni-pol is located, was severely criticised after around 150-200 people carried out a celebratory procession that evening for observing a successful curfew. Police registered an FIR in the incident and many people were arrested as well.
Maitreyee Pasawala from the Pol says, “That incident was very embarrassing for the entire Khadia area. We are receiving a lot of messages from friends in other parts of the city to see to it that similar incident is not repeated this Sunday. We are very serious about that. And we are planning to meet Bhushanbhai Bhatt (a prominent local leader and former MLA) in this regard to ensure that nobody moves out of their respective homes Sunday.”
Pasawala was also seen holding discussions with other Pol residents on how to light diyas on Sunday night while maintaining social distance.
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