Mobile Literacy Training Programme for Seniors

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India is fast moving towards a cashless and digital economy. The use of the mobile phone/cell is increasing rapidly and with a view to making its usage, elder-friendly, this training programme was organised.

The Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, has opened up an economy that would be cashless and digital. For this, he has advocated the use of the mobile phone as a ‘personal banker.’

The President of ILC-I, Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, himself a scientist and technocrat of international repute, and Mr. Jayant Umranikar, Chairman, ILC-I, who also believes in dynamic innovation, propounded that ILC- I should help seniors gear up towards such an economy and make the mobile/cell, a ‘friend’ of the elders.

Taking upon this concept we are now trying to spread over Maharashtra with our Mobile Literacy program to make more and more seniors techno-savvy with their mobile phones and use its different features to make life more qualitative.

ILC-I arranged eight half-day training programs with the support of Gharda Chemicals on the 9th & 10 June at Aurangabad, 11th & 12 July at Kolhapur, 20th and 21st August at Aurangabad again due to public demand, 26th & 27th September at Poladpur (2018) to make the seniors become more comfortable, with the support of Gharda Chemicals.

The ILC-I team who trained the senior citizens made it a completely hands-on experience for the seniors who were given basic information on the uses of a mobile, the various apps, how to download them, how to create a g-mail address, typing in the regional language (Marathi), using of the various apps, especially for making online payments of utility bills like the electricity and telephone charges, using Facebook, What’s App, Skype and YouTube, amongst the many other features that a mobile phone has to offer.

The phobia that quite a few elderly had towards the mobile phone was completely wiped off by the end of the training and the senior citizens were quite happy to use their mobiles for services other than just making and receiving phone calls.

ILC-I also distributed complimentary copies of a book on ‘Smart Phones’ which is a useful manual for senior citizens to refer to.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable learning experience for the senior citizens, and their child-like enthusiasm and energy as they learned how to use the mobile with all its different features was truly exciting.