The pace of change in technology makes it difficult for most to keep up. More so with the elders who find it almost impossible to keep up with the latest gadgets, mobile applications, new smartphones, tablets, etc. This handicap excludes elders from the mainstream social fabric. At the same time, there are increasing instances of online fraud and scams targeting elders particularly in urban areas. To tackle this, HelpAge has started a ‘Digital Literacy & Safety’ programme introducing elders to the online world while simultaneously equipping them with tools to stay safe online. With our nationwide network of Senior Citizens’ Associations, we conduct workshops across the country where we provide hands-on training to elders.
In rural India, the need for digital literacy for elders is directly connected to a large extent to their means to earn their livelihood and avail linkages to government schemes and benefits. HelpAge runs Digital Empowerment Centres for elderly in rural India with the aim to make them self-sustainable and independent.
Another initiative, that aims to bridge the ‘digital divide’ and bring together generations, is our ‘Digital GuruCool’ programme, which combines our Student Action for Value Education (SAVE) and our Digital Literacy programmes through our nationwide network of Senior Citizens’ Associations. Here, students take on the role of ‘digital gurus’ by teaching senior citizens how to navigate the digital world through their smartphones.