The boy’s parents reportedly could not afford a smartphone for the classes as his father works at a biscuit shop and his mother is a domestic worker.

A child holding up a phone and writing on a notebook as part of online classesImage for representation
news Crime Monday, September 21, 2020 - 12:42

In a surprising turn of events, a mobile phone snatching in Chennai turned out to be a story of kindness. In Chennai, a 13-year-old schoolboy, who studies in a corporation school, snatched a phone with the help of two criminals so that he could attend his classes which have gone online due to the pandemic, reported the Times of India

The boy’s parents reportedly could not afford a smartphone for the classes as his father works at a biscuit shop and his mother is a domestic worker.

The police said that the two people from the same neighbourhood decided to bait him into joining them in the theft after they found him dawdling during school hours. They lured him with the offer of a mobile phone and made him tag along so that they would be let off easily even if they were to get caught.

The three people ended up stealing the phone of a truck driver in Thiruvottiyur, and attempted to make a break for it, but two of them were caught by those around and handed over to the police. The third person was also nabbed soon. 

However, it was then that Thiruvottiyur crime police inspector S Bhuvaneshwari heard the boy’s story during questioning, and decided to buy him a phone for his classes. The money she used to buy the boy a new phone was the money the Inspector had reportedly set aside to buy her daughter a smartphone. “My daughter can wait,” Bhuvaneshwari told the newspaper. 

“This is a small gesture from my side. After hearing his tale, I thought penalizing him would turn the life of the misguided youth upside down,” the inspector added.  

The boy was let off with a warning. 

Many like the boy are struggling to study, for lack of access to devices as well as spotty or no internet connectivity. They are also used for assignments and homework. 

The Tamil Nadu School Education Department has said that the attendance of students for online classes shall not be used by schools for evaluation of students.

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