The vice-principal of a school in Delhi was overwhelmed by goodwill gesture shown by Delhi Government by conferring her the State Teachers’ Award for her momentous contribution in enabling hundreds of students to access online education by distributing hundreds of smartphones during COVID-19 pandemic. Bharti Kalra, vice-principal of Sarvodaya Vidyalaya in Rohini Sector-8, was surprised after being nominated for the state’s prestigious teachers’ award as she says that she didn’t apply for it. Kalra was felicitated on the occasion of Teachers’ Day on Sunday, Sep 5.
As per several media reports, Kalra learned during COVID-19 pandemic that several students were unable to access online education due to unavailability of smartphones. Upon realising the problem, she reached out to her friends, relatives and acquaintances on WhatsApp for help. It initially started with 3-4 smartphones, and gradually took the form of a massive movement. Kalra was supported by her school teachers who also reached out to their friends and acquaintances in the similar manner. Kalra says that she was elated to see that she could arrange 321 smartphones for the needy students who failed to arrange a smartphone to attend online classes.
Kalra recounts how the initiative took the shape. She says that she was taken aback after she heard that one of her school students lost his father due to COVID-19 and that he didn’t have a smartphone to attend online classes.
“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,” Kalra was quoted as saying in a report by ANI.
Kalra expressed her gratitude towards the Delhi government for the award and stated that the initiative is a result of her dedication towards her duty as a teacher. “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,” said Kalra, quoted ANI report.