Maharashtra's village chooses for 'evening detox' to curb life's digital clutter | Mint

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With mobiles and electronic gadgets taking over our live, a village in Maharashtra’s Sangli district is showing the way out of the clutter of electronic gadgets and social media platforms in modern life.

Every evening siren goes off from a local temple at 7 pm as a sign to put off their mobile phones and other gadgets and switch off their television sets, etc to indulge in reading books, studying and talking with one another, while the second alarm at 8.30 pm signals the end of the detox period.

The idea mooted by sarpanch of Mohityanche Vadgaon village Vijay Mohite has been widely accepted by the residents and they are participating in this novel exercise enthusiastically.

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Mohite opined that from COVID-19-induced lockdown, online classes brought mobile phones into the hands of children for long hours even after school ended for the day, while television viewing hours of parents got extended.

“When physical classes resumed, teachers realised children had become lazy, did not want to read and write and were mostly engrossed in their mobile phones before and after the school hours. There weren’t separate study rooms in the homes of the villagers. So I put forth the idea of a digital detox,” he said.

“I had proposed a one-and-a-half hour period at first. Initially, there was hesitancy as people were wondering if it was possible to keep away from mobile and TV screens. On Independence Day, we convened a gram sabha of women and decided to purchase a siren. Then ASHA workers, anganwadi sevikas, gram panchayat employees, retired teachers went home to home to create awareness about digital detox,” he added.

Explaining the process, the Sarpanch said that between 7 pm and 8.30 pm, people keep their mobile phones aside, switch off television sets and focus on reading, studying, writing and conversations.

Apart from this, he added that award-wise committee has been set up to monitor if the initiative is being implemented.

A similar move was witnessed by some members of the Jain community in Raisen in Madhya Pradesh in Spetember when they observed a “digital fast” for 24 hours during the ‘paryushan parva’ by keeping away from their smartphones and other electronic gadgets.

With PTI inputs.

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