The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more and more people embracing technology, leading to a surge in the availability of digital solutions like online counselling, telemedicine, OTT entertainment, virtual darshans, online banking, etc. Even physical experiences like shopping and yoga sessions are made now available through a virtual interface.
During this time, the elderly people were the worst hit population, with most of them staying isolated and having less or no social interaction.
To allow the older generation to access the digital space conveniently, Seniority, an e-commerce and retail destination, launched India's largest online community in 2021 for senior citizens called the 'Evergreen Club'. It is a digital engagement app for adults above 50 years of age, where they can enjoy interactive virtual sessions curated especially for their diverse needs.
Empowering Lives Of Senior Citizens
This first-of-its-kind platform is aimed at the young-at-heart —to learn, interact, and engage with like-minded peers from the comfort of their homes. Evergreen Club is designed to help seniors live a more fulfilled and empowered life while catering to their social needs and providing a sense of purpose and belonging.
"While catering to the senior care market segment with our e-commerce platform 'Seniority', we realised that the single biggest issue faced by the elderly is that of loneliness and social isolation. These are not just limited to the COVID-19 pandemic but are a function of multiple factors like early retirement, rise in empty nest syndrome, limited mobility with age, etc. This inherent issue has given rise to innovative, contactless, age-tech solutions for the elderly, offering holistic well-being for them," Tapan Mishra, founder of the Evergreen Club told The Logical Indian.
He said that the government and social organisations are studying, analysing, and finding healthcare solutions for the aged in the country, but not much is being done for the emotional and lifestyle needs of the country's senior citizens.
Over 1000 Live Sessions
Evergreen Club is available as both a web platform and an app on PlayStore and AppStore. Over 1,000 live sessions are conducted every month, across a plethora of categories like health, fitness, learning, and entertainment. Elders can simply register with their phone number, browse through the listed sessions and book their preferred ones with just a few clicks.
The sessions are conducted in small, interactive batches so that every member feels seen and heard. Engaging sessions are conducted like Tambola, Antakshari, art and craft, cooking, exercise sessions, and fitness activities, workshops to learn new skills, play quizzes and games, themed festivals, and occasions together. The platform also offers a library of engaging and relevant content in the form of blogs, videos, and session notes to members.
Available In Three Languages
The app is currently available in three languages —English, Hindi, and Marathi to cater to the diverse audience of the country. The sessions are conducted by experts and moderators majorly in Hindi, since a large number of the members understand it well.
"We also try to make the non-Hindi speaking audience comfortable with English and Marathi, wherever required. We are aggressively working towards introducing the app in more regional languages to attract a wider audience base," Mishra said.
"The most special part of the app is that one doesn't need to be educated. Sessions like singing, drama, art & craft, etc. are more interactive and don't necessarily require reading and writing skills. Our platform is thus inclusive towards people who wish to enjoy such sessions with like-minded peers," he added.
Mishra feels humbled that the community has embraced Evergreen Club in their daily routine. "Be it any time of the day, our members are ready and enthusiastic as ever, to explore, learn and engage, not just with us, but also with their virtual buddies. For some, it's a place where they learn new things and explore hobbies, while for others, it's a platform where they get to express themselves and interact with people around the world," he stressed.
Making A Difference
The platform has some fantastic testimonials from members, who share their experiences on how Evergreen Club has been able to make a difference in their lives.
"The members who lost their near and dear ones to COVID-19 are able to overcome depression. There are people who started their fitness journey and lost 20 kgs to become healthier, and similar other inspiring stories of seniors who have regained their confidence and feel valued in their respective social circles," Mishra said. Members even picked new skills they wanted to pursue in their adulthood but could not, due to other responsibilities.
The entrepreneur said the outlook for the future is highly positive. "Past year performance has been encouraging as we grew from a handful of members to crossing 300K in less than 12 months," he said, adding that recognitions like "Best Apps for Good 2021" by Play store and encouraging member feedback has helped boost their efforts for the next year and are confident that the community is only set to grow further.
Evergreen Club is a customer-centric organisation that focuses on providing improved services to its members. The platform aims to leverage the power of evolving technology to offer a seamless customer experience. It also focuses on building an easier user interface and being an enabler for tech adoption in the community it serves.
"We will be rolling out exciting new features on the platform from time to time for the larger benefit of our existing and new members," said Mishra.