New Delhi [India], September 5 (ANI): Delhi government on Sunday conferred state teachers' award on vice-principal of a government school for her exceptional contribution in helping poor students receive online education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bharti Kalra, vice-principal of Sarvodaya Vidyalaya in Rohini Sector-8, collected 321 smartphones through her family and friends that enabled students to attend online classes.
Speaking to ANI, Kalra said that she was surprised at being nominated for the award as she had not applied for it. "I'm truly humbled for receiving this award on the teachers' day. Whatever I have done, I did it as my duty. But receiving an award is a whole different feeling," she stated.
On being asked about her initiative during the pandemic, she recounted that many students of her school couldn't attend online classes as they did not have laptops, tablets or smartphones. "I felt so helpless at that time. Then, one of our students lost his father due to Covid. I couldn't possibly ask him to buy a smartphone during that time," she said.
"Somehow, I gave him a smartphone myself. But I realised that it was not the solution as many kids were facing problems in taking online classes. Then we came up with an idea and all the teachers of our school started contacting their friends and acquaintances on WhatsApp and told them about the problems these kids were facing during the pandemic," she added.
Kalra recalls that it was a difficult task to convince people in the beginning but slowly many people helped them in their endeavour. "It started with hardly three or four phones, but we kept on trying. I didn't expect it will become such a huge movement," she added.
The vice-principal informed that the school also provided worksheets to kids who couldn't take online classes and continuously encouraged them to keep studying during the pandemic. (ANI)