In today’s digital era, as we are moving forward, our elders are leaving somewhere behind at the same pace. However, they are working hard to be ‘technology-friendly’ like today’s generation, but this is not an easy task. Initiated to solve this problem of these elders, a young woman from Mumbai. 27-year-old Mahima Bhalotia from Mumbai is engaged in empowering the elderly digitally by providing social media training. For this, he took an initiative in lockdown named ‘The Social School’.
Through The Social School, Mahima is teaching people over the age of 50 how to operate smart phones, use the Internet, use mobile applications, and net-banking. She says that she came up with the idea about two years ago and wanted to work on it too, but could not do it due to her job. But, during the lockdown in 2020, he considered the initiative. She says that she was not expecting, but she got a very good response from the people.
Mahima has taught digital technology to 400 elders so far. These students of theirs can now order food themselves, book cabs and are even making online payments themselves, without having to depend on anyone. While talking to The Better India, he told about his journey.
How to get the idea:
Mahima says that she has worked with ‘Marriott International’ for three years. There she was in the hospitality section and, at the same time, kept informing some of the staff there about social media and digital technologies. She says, “Once, I was having lunch with my team and then my boss’s mother was repeatedly calling him. She was asking him to book an Uber cab. At that time my boss jokingly said that Mahima you should teach digital technology to the elderly. ”
When Mahima told this idea to her mother at home, she also said that she should do so. But, due to her job at the time, Mahima could not do much work on it. She adds, “Shortly before the lockdown, I thought about changing my job and I also got an offer letter from another place. But, again due to the lockdown, I was not able to join there and the way the number of corona patients was increasing, nothing was certain. At that time my mother told me that you should devote your time to some right place. ”
During the lockdown, Mahima once again started working on his idea. Because at that time people were in great need of digital technologies. Although he did not expect much, he was approached by many to take the class. Due to the lockdown, she could not go and teach people. Therefore, he started his class on Zoom. First he started teaching each one separately, online. Then he also started doing group sessions.
She says, “Most people didn’t even know how to use Zoom. So, I first taught them to use Zoom on WhatsApp video calls. After this, he started his class. It is true that to teach the elderly, you need a lot of patience and patience. But, when he learns and there is nothing more satisfying than the happiness on his face. ”
Help for Elders from Different Cities:
Mahima’s class (Social Media Training) connects not only Mumbai but also people from places like Pune, Jaipur and Kolkata. She says that she holds at least four sessions a week. Now she also takes a group session. Because, these elders are more happy to learn with each other. Their group session consists of 10 to 14 people. One of her students, 62-year-old Lekha Nambiar, says that she has been a professor of English and always wanted to learn smart phones and digital technologies better and also take social media training.
Lekha started by learning Twitter with glory, so that she could know things happening in the country and the world. But, in class, she came to know that she can also use Twitter to complain. He tweeted a complaint related to Urban Clapp’s service and got an immediate response from the company there. Similarly, one of his 69-year-old students, Surendra Kaushik, was trying to make a booking at Club Mahindra. However, he was not getting any response from Customer Care. He also contacted Anand Mahindra and Club Mahindra using Twitter and got a response there too.
At the same time, 85-year-old Sushila Shah says, “I didn’t know how to run a mobile much. Tried to learn at home too, but not much came. I am fond of cooking, but it was very difficult for me to take pictures of food. Mahima taught me things one by one with great restraint. Right now I run the mobile well and I also click all the pictures of my food. ”
Mahima says, “I did not do this job with money or business ideas. I think that in modern times we are forgetting to mingle with the people around us. By the way, you will find many videos on YouTube, where you can learn to play mobile. But, the joy of persuading someone and when you learn, the joy of celebrating that happiness, comes with each other. When I started, I never thought about fees. But, after learning from me, my students went ahead and gave me the fees and said that if you take the fees, more and more people will learn responsibly, because they are learning by paying. That’s why I have kept a minimum fee. ”
However, every week Mahima also holds a ‘Doubt Session’, in which any of her students can come and if they have any problem, they can ask them. There is no fee for this ‘douout session’. For these elders, Mahima is not just a teacher, but she is now his friend, to whom he reveals all his doubts. Due to the corona epidemic, many elderly people are alone in their homes and away from families, so these glory classes are right for them online, but they are working to connect them with others.
Now Mahima also chats live with many of her elderly students and asks them about their experiences. She says that the lives of many people are so interesting that we can all learn a lot from them. Therefore, Mahima has taken another initiative ‘The Senager’s Diary’ – means ‘Senior Teenager’ diary. Through this, she is putting forth the unique experiences and ways of living life of these ‘senior citizens’. So far he has shared stories of four elders. Mahima says, “All these stories are special in themselves. If you ever try to learn more about their era, listen to them, then you too will enjoy and you will learn a lot. Like- I have learned from an elderly student, always trying and helping others. He has been a captain in the Navy and always tries to help others during class. ”
The purpose of Mahima is to work only on technology. She says that the more she gets from them, the more she will try to empower more people digitally. She says, “Everything is being ‘automatic’ these days. Earlier, there were people to know or tell customers, but now there is no such system. People are using pre-recorded video lectures for online studies. Digital technology is growing, that’s a good thing. But, the human spirit and thoughts should not be lost in all this. So even if my level of work has increased, I will take care of it that I will always be connected with people and teach them myself. ”
If you want to contact Mahima, you can contact them on the Facebook page.