- Sumeeta Gawande
Updated: Nov 16, 2020
GSG College welcomes donations of smartphones to enable students to continue their education online. About 60% of GSG students have been able to attend classes online, but about 40% have not been able to continue their education because they cannot afford a smartphone, table or computer.
On March 22, 2020, Yavatmal District became one of the first regions in India to undergo lockdown due to the pandemic. On that day, GSG College’s in-person classes stopped, and they have not resumed, due to continued COVID-19 cases in the region.
GSG College was ready to face the challenge of moving its classes online, thanks to the technology guidance provided over the past six years by Ohio University alumnus and staff, Briju Thankachan, Ph.D., Director of Curriculum and Assessment Design and Improvement within the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.
GSG College has 3350 full time students, which includes 1480 students in junior college (equivalent to U.S. 11th and 12 grade), 1770 students in senior college (pursuing bachelor degrees), and about 100 post-graduate students (pursuing Master's and Ph.D. degrees). Most students attend online classes using a family member's smartphone.
However, about 1340 students cannot access the online lessons because their families are too poor to own a smartphone or any other internet-connected device. A basic smartphone costs Rs. 8000 ($110), and a basic data plan (1GB/day/month) costs Rs. 149/ month ($2/month).
SESA is running a campaign seeking donations in India of old smartphones with storage capacity.
Phones must be donated within India in order to avoid the logistical difficulties of sending phones internationally and clearing India’s complicated import process. Old smartphones will be lent to needy students, and GSG College will provide them a WiFi-enabled location where they can download pre-recorded video lessons and class materials.
Phones can be sent to:
Vice Principal Someshwar Vadrabade
Gopikabai Sitaram Gawande Mahavidhyalaya
Umarkhed Maharashtra, India 445206
We are grateful for any donations of old smartphones by Indian residents.
Thanks so much for your support!