For hours together, she sat on the tiled roof of her two-storey house learning lessons online. Engrossed in her class, fifth semester BA English student Namitha Narayanan was almost oblivious of people watching her in curiosity.
Namitha found the rooftop of her house at Areekkal, near Kottakkal, the only place with fairly good signal strength for mobile data. “We tried all places in my house, including verandas and roofs. And finally I got fairly good signal strength on the top of our two-storey house,” she said.
A student of KMCT Arts and Science College, Kuttippuram, Namitha had tried different mobile networks. But all of them had feeble signals at her house, making it tough for her to attend the online sessions when classes began on Monday. When it rained on Monday and Tuesday, she used an umbrella, which shielded her from the bright sun on Wednesday.
Her father, K.C. Narayanan Kutty, an employee at Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala, and mother, M. Jeeja, a teacher at GMLP School, Malappuram, lent her support as Namitha attended online classes from their rooftop. They did not mind when she broke a few tiles. They propped up an iron ladder for her to climb atop the roof from the first floor terrace.
“Rain is not an issue, but thunder and lightning are. Like me, there are many students without good connectivity. Several of them are trying out different alternatives,” Namitha said, sharing the experience of her friends.
Her elder sister Nayana, who is a fourth year BAMS student at Vaidyaratnam P.S. Varier Ayurveda College, Kottakkal, too is full of support. “I too have to find a corner with good connectivity,” she said.
Mr. Narayanan Kutty said they had approached several data operators to support their study. But lack of cable availability denied them better data services.