Jharkhand Police Become ‘Good Samaritan’, Launch Banks of Gadgets for Poor Students
Jharkhand Police have become a Good Samaritan by building up a bank of used cellphones and laptops to distribute to poor students who use them to continue their education during pandemic restrictions.
Moved by the accounts of students leaving their studies and some even attempting to commit suicide for lack of cellphones and laptops for online courses, the Director General of Police of Jharkhand (DGP), Neeraj Sinha had the idea of ââbridging the digital divide by asking all police commissioners to set up a “cell phone and laptop bank” in all police stations as part of the state’s community policing program.
In the remote Godda district of Jharkhand, smartphones were distributed along with SIM cards and three months of free internet access to avoid additional maintenance costs associated with managing smartphones right after the program was launched.
âThe news of Delhi student Lady Shri Ram who committed suicide in her home in Telangana, calling herself a ‘burden on her family’ tore my heart apart. Then I came across a video of an 11-year-old girl from Jharkhand selling mangoes after interrupting her studies, unable to buy a smartphone for study.
It went viral after which someone bought him 12 mangoes for Rs 1.2 lakh in order to help him. In another case, a Godda student had to be rescued from a suicide attempt because he could not afford a smartphone for his studies. These cases have motivated us to work in this direction, âSinha told PTI.
The DGP wrote to police superintendents in 24 districts to set up gadget banks at police stations, asking people to come forward to donate their cell phones, laptops, notepads, etc. unused, to distribute to poor students.
âMy idea is that those in the middle or upper class who have unused or thrown away smartphones and laptops should come forward to donate,â he said.
People who can afford to buy all the latest gadgets often have two to three spare smartphones that they don’t want to give away because they fear misuse of those phones whose IMEI or ID code is displayed as in their possession.
The police chief said he personally knows people who crush usable phones before throwing them away to prevent misuse, which again leads to e-waste as well as high toxin pollution that s’ escapes into the ground.
âTo deal with this, we have opened decentralized device banks in police stations where, on the gadget deposit, the daily entrance to the station (Sanha) is marked for each equipment deposited with a certified true copy given as evidence to the person who deposited the equipment to ensure the depositors will not be held responsible for any misuse of the equipment, âSinha said.
The register mentions the name of the depositor, the address, the IMEI number of the smartphone, the unique identification number of the laptop, the date and time of submission, etc. the recommendation of school principals.
Deserving students must agree to be responsible for any misuse of the gadget.
Sinha in another letter to DIG, SP and SSP asked them to personally contact the heads of organizations employing a substantial number of people like CCL, chambers of commerce, their young chambers, Lions clubs, Rotary clubs and d ‘other charities working in their districts, asking them to encourage their staff / members to donate their used smartphones / laptops to the âEquipment Bankâ operated by the police.
âMany districts of Jharkhand including Godda and Ramgarh have shown wonderful results with good distribution of gadgets and we will take this initiative forward,â said the police chief.
Jharkhand has one of the largest tribal populations in the country, inhabited by more than 32 annex tribes and other marginalized indigenous peoples. According to the 2011 census, the state has 86.45 lakh of tribes, or about 27% of the total population of 3.29 crore.
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