This Bengaluru Based Voluntary Organisation Is On A Mission To Make Senior Citizens 'Digital Literates'
Volunteer For a Cause (VFC) is conducting free smartphones and laptops usage for senior citizens across India as COVID-19 propels using digital applications for contact-less interactions.
The volunteers from the 'Volunteer For a Cause' (VFC) are taking sessions for people above 60 years who are keen on learning technology (Smartphone/Laptop). These sessions are held one-to-one and conducted in the native language or any language that the senior citizen is comfortable with to encourage more elders to join the learning process. The initiative is aptly called TechForElders.
Before the lockdown, under the cause "The Golden Heroes," VFC has supported senior citizens in old age homes and day care centres with paper bag making and has conducted entertainment programs to engage elders lead an active life. TechForElders initiative aims to help senior citizens navigate through applications such as WhatsApp, GooglePay, YouTube, Swiggy etc.
Talking about the initiative, Surendran Krishnan - the founder of VFC, says "Under the pandemic, everything is going online. From making payments at a grocery store to ordering medicines, everything happens on a smartphone. Though many senior citizens have a smartphone, they use it only to make or receive calls. So, we wanted to help them learn how to use other applications to stay safe during these difficult times and also using technology makes senior citizens not dependent on anyone else for their work." The initiative has been active for over a month, and more than 150 volunteers have been mapped to senior citizens across the country to start their Technology learning journey!
Dhanya H J, one of the volunteers, shares her experience like this - "My buddy is a gentleman in his late 60s. He uses a smartphone for talking with his daughter who stays in the USA. During our initial interaction, he was a little hesitant to learn. But, as our sessions continued, he got comfortable using his phone to take pictures of his garden and WhatsApp it to his daughter. His enthusiasm to learn has been growing ever since and it's a delight for me to teach him."
VFC maps volunteers to senior citizens based on applications they want to learn and the language they want to communicate. Sampath Kumar, a retired police officer in Bengaluru, is one of the several beneficiaries of this initiative. "The sessions have helped me use my laptop and smartphone confidently," he says. "Rahul, the volunteer who helped me in this journey, taught me all the applications very patiently. He was very approachable and repeated lessons when I forgot something. Now I can use my phone for more than just taking calls."
This initiative is open to both volunteers and elders. If you'd like to teach or know of any senior citizens who could benefit from this initiative, register at the links below:
Senior Citizens Registration Page: bit.ly/vfctechforelders
Volunteers Registration Page: bit.ly/vfctechforeldersvols Or reach out to VFC on 6366359687