Himachal Pradesh education minister Suresh Bharadwaj asked students in the state to remain indoors amid the Coronavirus lockdown and recommended them to study online or look for new sources of knowledge. Speaking to Republic TV, the minister said the government's first priority is to ensure the safety of people's lives and avoid the spread of the disease.
"We have closed the schools and postponed exams because our first priority is to save lives. We are trying to hold online lectures. Once things get normal after lockdown, we will restart schools and colleges. Till then, everyone should stay home," Suresh Bhardwaj said.
The minister said that school authorities are asked to look after those lodged in hostels even as most have been vacated flowing orders to close such institutes in early March. When asked what message he would like to give to students at home, he said they should stay home and watch Ramayana and Mahabharata serials being telecasted on state-run channels. He also recommended students to study online and acquaint themselves with new topics.
Suresh Bhardwaj appealed NGOs and religious institutions to help stranded migrant workers by providing them with all forms of aid. "There are many pharmaceutical factories in Himachal Pradesh where workers are still working. But there are many construction workers and household helpers who are being taken care of by state and private institutions. They are provided with food. I appeal to those who can afford to help in this effort and this is a service to humanity."
India on Saturday entered the fourth day of the three-week nationwide lockdown announced by PM Narendra Modi earlier this week. The Coronavirus pandemic has so far claimed 19 lives and infected over 800 people in the country. Himachal Pradesh has reported three confirmed cases of the disease.