Science congress: Denied laptop, Valley girl fails to present model

The anger and frustration were writ large on the face of Saleeqa Azam, a class VII student of Delhi Public School in Jammu & Kashmir's Anantanag town, who is representing her state at the Children's Science Congress in Kolkata. While students from other states were busy explaining their models at the event, the sole student representative from the Valley could not present her model as the organisers could not provide her a laptop.

Two girls from the state were selected to present their models at the exhibition. While one of them failed to turn up due to illness, Saleeqa was supposed to present a model on soil conservation. She wanted a laptop to make a power-point presentation. But the organisers could not provide her one saying it was not possible.

"I am frustrated and angry," said the young girl from Anchidura village of Anantnag. "I worked on the model painstakingly along with other team members and now I cannot make the presentation. I am just watching others,'' she added. Daughter of a professor at the Women's College, Saleeqa had been working on the model since August last year. "We were given to understand by our state coordinator that we will be provided with a laptop so that we make the power-point presentation here. Bringing one from such a faraway place was so difficult. But here after we spoke to the organisers, we came to know that they would not be able to provide us with a laptop," said her teacher Dimple Kaur.

Arun Kumar Chakraborty, the media convenor of the Science Congress, said, "I have no idea what their problem was. It is not possible to provide personal computers to 15,000 delegates."

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