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Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Unlock 2.0 Day 5: Rural India bridging digital divide, pandemic induces new trend among home buyers

Here are some interesting stories from across the country on day 5 of unlockdown 2.0.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 5, 2020 10:46:53 pm
Farmers celebrate Bendur at Velu Village near Khedshivapur, Pune, with messages like “Stay Home, Stay Safe” being painted on animals.

India on Sunday surpassed Russia to become the third nation to be worst hit by the novel coronavirus, with the number of cases standing at 6,97,069, according to covid19india.org at the time of filing this report. Russia has reported 6,80,283 cases, as per the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) tracker. India is now preceded only by Brazil and the US, who have recorded 2,841,124 and 1,577,004 cases, respectively.

However, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Sunday said that 21 states and UTs, including Delhi, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, have a Covid-19 recovery rate higher than the national average of 60.77 per cent. Collective and focused efforts for containment and management of coronavirus by the government of India and its states and union territories have led to the number of recovered Covid patients to rise to 4,09,082 so far, it said.

Here are some interesting stories from across the country on day 5 of unlockdown 2.0.

From downloading e-lessons to using teaching carts, rural India finds ways to bridge digital divide

From downloading e-lessons to using teaching carts, rural India is now equipping itself to bridge the digital gap in the country. In Haryana’s Jhamri village, students now open their textbooks at the sight of the “teaching cart” that arrives near their homes. They take notes from their homes as a teacher imparts lessons using the loudspeaker attached to the cart, thus conforming to the social distancing rules. This innovative way of teaching has thus defeated the constraints to education such as closure of schools and lack of digital infrastructure in the village. To maintain social distancing, the students take notes from their homes as a teacher imparts lessons using the loudspeaker attached to the cart.

“The bigger issue is not the effect on students’ learning levels but that they should not drop out,” said Satyanarayan Sharma, who runs a school in the village in the state’s Jhajjar district and has now initiated the practice of imparting education through loudspeaker cart.

Health worker take swab sample during Covid-19 rapid test, in New Delhi on Saturday. (Express Photo: Praveen Khanna)

Ghanshyambhai, another teacher in Janan village, Gujarat, has started using the public announcement system of the village panchayat to share stories, songs, guidelines for parents on how to deal with children during the lockdown, importance of exercising and much more.

In Maharashtra’s Bhadole village, teachers have identified students with access to smartphones and have formed groups clubbing them with students without internet access. “It works if one among ten students has access to a phone and lives near the other students’ homes,” said Shano Devi, one of the teachers in the group. The teachers send lessons on the phones of the parents who have one. The other students note down the lessons from the phones of their friends’ parents, complete assignments at their homes and send them back using the same device. The teachers have directed students to not gather at the homes of those with phones all at a time but in slots to ensure social distancing, Devi said. “Teachers have also pooled in money to get data recharges for parents who are enabling the group to study so they are not discouraged because of the expense,” said Devi. (PTI)

‘Bartan dho liye’: Man’s rant over endless household chores leaves netizens in splits

While the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown has forced people working from home to also simultaneously manage household chores like cooking and cleaning due, a viral clip, featuring actor Sumeet Vyas, has exactly summed up the plight of officer goers, leaving netizens in splits.

The 4,54-minute clip, titled “Bartan dho liye“, is a rant by a man who is struggling to find a perfect balance between household chores and office. The clip begins with Vyas sweeping the floor and he soon turns to the camera, expressing how much he misses the office. However, the conversation soon turns into a rant with Vyas cribbing about the never ending household work. While the clip was shared earlier in May, it has gone viral again, with many relating to the situation. “Side effects of work from home,” wrote a user while commenting on the viral clip.

Covid-19 impact: New trend among home buyers

The Covid-19 has resulted in a trend of buyers tightening their purse strings and opting for budget-friendly residences rather than luxury offerings, city realtors said. However, due to the practice of ‘work from home’ that has gained pace during the coronavirus-induced lockdown, those who earlier preferred ‘paying guest’ accommodation were increasingly looking at owning an apartment to suit their budget.

“What has happened is that the pandemic has opened up a lot of opportunities for developers and the people. Customers have understood the necessity of a home and for developers it has opened up, if not luxury, budget segment residences”, Akshaya Homes Ltd founder T Chitty Babu told PTI. He said people have accepted that they live in challenging times and that they need to save money.

“Earlier they were stretching their budget for bigger apartments, but are now going in for properties within their budget”, he said.

The younger generation was moving towards urban locations and giving up the ‘paying guest’ concept of sharing living space with others he said. “They do not want to live with strangers and this has opened up a lot of opportunities for home buyers. They look at k at making purchases of houses if it suits their budget.” (PTI)

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