Pandemic, misery, a damaged cellphone: How a household in Goa misplaced their 16-year-old son

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Written by Smita Nair | Sattari (goa) | October 23, 2020 4:54:03 am On October 11, the cellphone display screen broke, however the boy stored it to himself, telling his mom solely a few days later. (Representational Image/Creative Commons)At Pal village in Goa’s Sattari taluka, a household is distraught. The pandemic and its aftereffects — diminished earnings, an unsure future — had already put them via nice hardship. A damaged cell phone was seemingly the final straw. On October 15, their 16-year-old son was discovered hanging in the home.
The father, who drives a non-public bus, says his son, a Class 10 pupil of a authorities faculty within the village, used a smartphone to attend his on-line courses. On October 11, the cellphone display screen broke, however the boy stored it to himself, telling his mom solely a few days later. The teenager’s pocket book; he was a Class 10 pupil
“We had been struggling for months so everyone was in a bad mood. When he told his mother about the phone, she said it can’t be repaired immediately, and he threw a tantrum. When I came back from work, he got into an argument with me and I held him by his collar. He stopped me saying, ‘I have only one nice shirt’. He removed his shirt, put it on a hanger and told me I could beat him. By then, I just couldn’t,” says the daddy.
“I then told him I only have Rs 500 with me and need it to buy rice. I asked him to wait for four days for me to arrange the  Rs 2,000 he needed to repair the screen,” he provides.
Since the pandemic started, cash has been tight — the daddy used to earn as much as Rs 700 a day, however the lockdown had left him with no earnings for 4 months. Since July, he’s again at work, however solely earns Rs 500, that too on good days.
The mom, a beneficiary of the Griha Aadhar Scheme, a welfare scheme for homemakers, mentioned she hadn’t obtained any cash because the lockdown, aside from a one-time fee of Rs 1,500 throughout Ganesh Chaturthi. The grandmother, a beneficiary of the Dayanand Social Security Scheme for widows, too hadn’t obtained any cash for months.
A authorities officer confirmed the fee has been stalled because of the state’s depleted coffers. On Tuesday, nevertheless, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant tweeted that “despite financial constraints”, the federal government has determined to launch Rs 45.29 crore to over 1.7 lakh beneficiaries of each the schemes.
North Goa SP Utkrisht Prasoon mentioned, “The suicide is related to a mobile phone that was not repaired. The boy was 16 years old. We first determined the cause of death — asphyxia caused due to hanging. We are also inquiring with his school teachers and others to ensure the circumstances. Statements of parents have already been taken.”
The faculty headmaster confirmed to The Indian Express that courses had been being held on-line.
His class instructor remains to be in shock. Of his 59 college students, greater than half attend courses on their telephones — and the 16-year-old was considered one of them. “He was a friendly child… completed his homework and was responding to online lessons. He even got good marks in a test we conducted recently,” he says.
Students had been allowed to go to faculty if they’d doubts to clear or wanted assist with worksheets given throughout on-line hours. The boy, the instructor mentioned, had visited faculty to choose a ebook the week he died. “He would come to school if he had doubts to clear, but he never told us about his mobile phone. If we had known, we would have told him it was ok,” the instructor says.
Back on the 16-year-old’s home, the daddy says that regardless of their hardships, he by no means lower corners when it got here to his youngsters’s schooling. “But we hardly have any income now… the expenses have only increased after the lockdown. Still, we have been trying our best because education is very important. My younger son hasn’t attended any classes since we only had one phone between the two boys and their classes clashed.”
He now worries for his different two youngsters — an 18-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son. The daughter had enrolled for a nursing course earlier than the lockdown. “Her total course fee is Rs 5 lakh, of which the Education Department gives Rs 2 lakh. Tomorrow if her education gets stalled due to lack of money, what will happen? What if she does something similar? What do I do then?” he says.
The mom says she misplaced a “good son”. “He never asked us for anything. He only spoke of how he will become a ‘big man’ some day and help us.”
The father provides, “I have an elbow injury and a severe back problem. He used to tell me to quit driving, that he will join ITI and work after Class 12.”
He says he is aware of of a number of households who’re going via an analogous state of affairs. “The government says study online, but can poor people afford phones? The government should pause schooling for a year if they cannot help the poor.”
He says his coronary heart aches when he thinks of his son’s final phrases. “When I was leaving for work the next morning, he said, ‘Hit me now if you want, you may not get a chance in the evening.’”
Around mid-day, the daddy emptied his bus at Bicholim bus cease and returned home, after somebody within the household known as to tell him of his son’s dying. 📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click right here to hitch our channel (@indianexpress) and keep up to date with the most recent headlines For all the most recent India News, obtain Indian Express App.

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