As a blackout plunged her desert dwelling into darkness, Suwa Devi, a dancer belonging to India’s Kalbeliya gypsy community, asked her neighbour to turn on his jeep’s headlights so she could continue teaching her Zoom class, outside.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many people to go online, but the largely nomadic, marginalised Kalbeliya face bigger challenges than most, with several living in mud huts or tents with patchy electricity and non-existent wifi.
“In the beginning, I had no idea how to make this work,” dancer Aasha Sapera told AFP, describing her early forays into hosting classes on Zoom.
“We had so many internet problems. Lessons would often get cancelled because the connection was terrible,” said Sapera, whose students span the globe from Japan to Brazil.
Virus restrictions wiped out the 26-year-old single mother’s livelihood as a performer in tourism-dependent Rajasthan state. Like others in the community, she has received no