Home Economic Inclusion Chennai Student Gunisha Aggarwal’s Novel Idea to Bridge Digital Divide During Lockdown

Chennai Student Gunisha Aggarwal’s Novel Idea to Bridge Digital Divide During Lockdown

Gunisha Aggarwal (left) is reaching out to needy students with used smartphones and laptops. (Photo - NDTV)

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Chennai, October 11— Inspired by a noble act of her mother for a domestic help’s daughter, Gunisha Aggarwal, a Class 12 student in Chennai, came up with a novel idea to help more such students who are struggling to catch up with online classes as they don’t have required gadget.

Almost all schools across the country are closed since March this year in view of the spread of Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them started online classes for the students to save their academic year. Idea was fine but not so for those students whose family cannot afford a smartphone or laptop.

One day, Gunisha, the daughter of Chennai Police Commissioner Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal, was moved when she saw her mother give a used laptop to a domestic help’s daughter, so she could join online classes, says a report on NDTV website. Gunisha soon set up a website www.helpchennai.org to help students in need of a laptop or smartphones.

Moved by Gunisha’s idea, many came up extending their support to her idea. An IT company, Thinkinfinity & Consulting, built the ₹ 50,000 worth website free of cost to help donors to give used or new devices and those in need to approach them. The company also brought together technical experts who could check the used laptops and smartphones and get make the devices e-learning ready.

Many people have got help from Gunisha’s initiative.

“The tablet is so useful. The free laptop given by the government last year crashed. I want to become a banker. The tablet will also help me to prepare for it,” says Sangeetha, an auto driver’s daughter pursuing B.Com. After struggling for weeks, she is now able to attend her online classes using her own new tablet she received as a gift from Gunisha.

A restaurant waiter’s class X daughter has also got a tablet from her.

So far Gunisha has collected 25 devices including 20 used laptops. She has provided one device each to four students. Around 15 students have so far applied for devices which she would hand them over this week, says the report.

“The pandemic has turned many jobless. While we have so many devices at home many children don’t have even one or siblings share one device. It’s our moral responsibility to bridge this digital divide,” Gunisha, who aspires to pursue economics or law, was quoted as saying by NDTV.