Maha village opts for `evening detox` to curb life`s daily digital clutter


A village in Maharashtra’s Sangli district is leading the way out of modern life’s tangle of electronic gadgets and social media platforms by giving residents a nightly “digital detox.”

The idea was suggested by Vijay Mohite, the sarpanch of Mohityanche Vadgaon village, and residents have enthusiastically participated in this new exercise.

At 7pm, a siren goes off from a local temple, warning people to turn off their mobile phones and other gadgets and turn off their television sets, etc. to read books, study, and talk to each other, while the second alarm goes off at 8:30 am. pm marks the end of the detox period.

Talking to PTI, the coronavirus-induced lockdown and subsequent enchantment of online classes put mobile phones in children’s hands for hours, even after school ended for the day, while extending parents’ television viewing hours.

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“When physical classes resumed, teachers realized that children had become lazy, unwilling to read and write and were especially preoccupied with their mobile phones before and after school. There were no separate study rooms in the homes of the villagers. So I brought up the idea of ​​a digital detox,” he said.

“I had initially suggested a period of one and a half hours. Initially there was hesitation as people wondered if it was possible to stay away from mobile phones and TV screens. On Independence Day, we convened a gram sabha of women and decided to sound a siren Then ASHA workers, anganwadi sevikas, gram panchayat workers, retired teachers went from house to house to raise awareness about digital detox,” he added.

Mohityanche Vadgaon is home to freedom fighters, has won awards for cleanliness from state and central governments and is known for maintaining social harmony, always focusing on development work, he said.

“Now, between 7 and 8:30 p.m., people put their mobile phones aside, turn off the television and focus on reading, studying, writing and talking. A departmental committee has been set up to monitor the implementation of the initiative,” the sarpanch explained.

Student Gayatri Nikam stressed the need for such a move, saying her peers and others were glued to phones and television sets during the lockdown, even during power outages, with barely a glance at course books and other study materials.

Another person said women in village households would be busy watching television series and there was not much parental supervision of children.

“Now, from 7pm to 8.30pm, the children study while the parents read and write. There is no disturbance as everyone is engaged in such productive activities,” the villager added.

Incidentally, earlier this month, some members of the Jain community in Raisen in Madhya Pradesh observed a 24-hour “digital fast” during the ‘paryushan parva’ by staying away from their smartphones and other electronic gadgets.

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