The older people in our country often find it challenging when it comes to operating digital technologies. It doesn't mean that they don't want to become tech-friendly. Many older people wish to click selfies and post them on social media platforms, order food and snacks through a food delivery company, and talk with colleagues through video calls. This might not become possible for them as they don't have hands-on experience handling digital apps and technologies.
According to a survey by HelpAge India, over 60 per cent of elderly people want to learn technology-driven lessons. The survey was conducted with responses from 1,600 older people. It revealed a majority of them are keen on learning how to order food online, pay electricity bills, and use banking portals for transactions.
Whereas others extended their wish to use video-calling applications, Google Maps, and Gmail accounts. The survey signifies that the elderly population wants to be friendly with technology, but they don't have any medium to enable them to do so.
Birth Of Social Paathshala
To break the roadblock, an alumnus of SP Jain School of Global Management, Mahima Bhalotia, kickstarted 'Social Paathshala' in 2020 amidst the pandemic. The new-age startup imparts digital empowerment sessions to older adults and mothers who want to step into the digital world.
According to Mahima, the idea culminated in an office canteen in 2019 when she worked as an employee. She witnessed how her boss' mother kept him calling to book an online cab. She initiated arranging resources and kickstarted training sessions for older adults to become tech-savvy.
Training Older Adults 'Senagers'
After catering to a lot of senior citizens, she realized that there are a lot of homemakers and other ladies who need help in becoming tech-savvy. Mahima started "Paathshala for Her", which aims to help these ladies take baby steps towards embracing technology.
While talking to The Logical Indian, she said, "My plans comprise of expanding this initiative globally as I know that there are a lot of senior citizens and homemakers in the world who are not digitally empowered. I firmly believe in the quote by Mahatma Gandhi that says- Be the change you wish to see in the word, and find pure joy by making a difference in people's lives."
As per current statistics, she has successfully trained over 4,000-plus older adults (called senagers), including people from diversified backgrounds like Advocates, Ex Indian Navy Captain, Scientists, Entrepreneurs, Doctors, Colonel, Civil Engineer, and Business Women.
The young entrepreneur said, "They have learned a vast number of topics ranging from using Google Tools productively to advanced Zoom, WhatsApp, Festive greeting cards, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook; Google Lens, to name a few. My students have also learned how to order Pizza from Dominoes; Frappuccinos from Starbucks.
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