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The Delhi government has awarded Delhi State Teachers’ Award to a vice-principal for her exceptional contribution in helping poor students amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bharti Kalra, vice principal at Sarvodaya Vidyalaya in Rohini Sector-8 has been honoured in the recent Delhi State Teachers' Award as she gave 321 smartphones to underprivileged students so that they don't miss online classes due to Covid-19 induced lockdown.

Kalra collected 321 smartphones through her friends and family and gave them to poor students.

Kalra told ANI news agency that she had not applied for the award, and getting nominated for the same came as a surprise to her.

She remembered that how she felt helpless as many students of her school couldn’t attend online classes due to a lack of resources, like laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

"I felt so helpless at that time. Then, one of our students lost his father due to Covid. I couldn’t possibly ask him to buy a smartphone during that time," Kalra told the news agency.

Then, Kalra gave her smartphone to that student, but she realised that he wasn’t the only kid who couldn’t access the online classes.

Later, all the teachers of her school contacted their friends and acquaintances on WhatsApp and discuss the problems faced by these kids during the pandemic.

While it was a difficult task to convince people in the beginning but slowly people started coming forward to help them in their endeavor.

She is one of the 122 schoolteachers who has received the State Teachers' Awards from the Delhi government on the occasion of Teachers' Day on Sunday.

"I just did my duty and I am happy that it has been recognised by the government," Kalra added.

A teacher of Home Science for 19 years and a vice principal for the last three, Kalra was honoured with ‘special award’ along with Sarita Rani Bhardwaj, a political science lecturer at Sarvodaya Co-ed Senior Secondary School in Mangolpuri.

Bhardwaj too made efforts in reaching out to the students who could not be contacted on phone for online classes during the pandemic.

She provided worksheets to the students who did not have smartphones for online classes.

Apart from the Special Award, the new 'Face of DoE' (Directorate of Education) awards was given to two teachers -- Rajkumar and Suman Arora.

A music teacher at Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya (RPVV) at Dwarka sector 19, Rajkumar initiated various activities in the school to promote Indian classical music among the younger generation.

On the other hand, Suman Arora, helped five students to clear IIT Advanced.

The mathematics lecturer at RPVV Paschim Vihar also worked as a Resource Person for newly promoted PGTs.

Arora was an active member for the review and update of support material for class 12 mathematics of the Year 2021-22 and her support for peer teachers and students helped 23 students to get selected in IIT JEE Mains.

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