Pune NGO to PM: Donate discarded loudspeakers for ‘distance education’ in J&K

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In a unique initiative, an NGO has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to donate all the loudspeakers taken off mosques and other religious places for enabling ‘distance education’ in far-flung schools and junior colleges in the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, or other border states.

Against the backdrop of the recent move by the Uttar Pradesh government to yank off loudspeakers from many religious places in that state, the Pune-based ‘Sarhad’ has written to the Prime Minister on the issue.

Sarhad Founder-President Sanjay Nahar said that thousands of these public address systems have been removed and may be rendered useless, to finally end up in the ‘kabadi’ (scrap) shops.

However, in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, there are hundreds of schools and even some junior colleges which are situated long distances apart, 5-7-10 kms or even more in some remote forested or mountainous areas.

“Through Sarhad initiative ‘Ghar Ghar School, Har Ghar School’, along with Vande Mataram Sanghatana (VMS), we are finalising a plan to recycle these discarded loudspeakers for such schools and junior colleges, help ‘connect’ them, amplify the teachers’ classes/lectures to benefit all, clear the students’ doubts, solve problems, etc.,” an excited Nahar told IANS.

These could also be deployed for certain other common initiatives like relaying the National Anthem daily, morning prayers/pledges or conduct competitions on loudspeakers so all can take part irrespective of the long and tiresome distances involved, he added.

Besides, if a particular teacher is on leave or absent, the students can be ‘linked’ to some other nearby schools to relay the same period to ensure they don’t miss out on the days’ course education or lag in the syllabus, and relay common instructions during exams simultaneously, saving time and efforts, said VMS President Vaibhav Wagh.

VMS’ Working President Sachin Jamge said it would be of particular importance during bad weather conditions when many small mountain villages remain practically cut off, but the facility of such ‘distance education’ would ensure the students feel part of the mainstream and don’t miss out on their curriculum.

Last week, the Uttar Pradesh government cracked the whip on illegal loudspeakers and dismantled nearly 11,000 from various religious spots like mosques, temples, etc.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath came in for unabashed praise on Thursday from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray — who started it all!

“I wholeheartedly congratulate and stand grateful to the Yogi Government for having removed loudspeakers, specially the masjids (mosques), he said, adding how unfortunately in Maharashtra, there are no such ‘Yogis’ (hermits), but only ‘Bhogis’ (hedonists).

Nahar urged Yogi and Raj to consider the proposal in the national interest instead of sowing sectarian strife, and said ‘Sarhad’ can repeat the same in remote or border areas in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and other Northeastern frontier states.

“Regular use of these bullhorns will ensure alertness among the people, can be used in medical emergencies or terror situations to relay messages where mobile connectivity is poor and discourage the ‘shady elements’ who lurk in the border areas,” Nahar said.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: q.najmi@ians.in)

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