Can't decide what to order at the restaurant' Ask granny.
Baffled by the umpteen new models of cell phones in the market' Go shopping with grandpa to help you choose.
A city-based voluntary organisation has taken up the task of equipping the aged with a fresh set of skills to tackle the latest trends and not feel left out.
'These people lack companionship and in the absence of proper counselling, they are becoming victims of abuse, both at the hands of family and society,' said R.K. Ganguly, member of Dignity Foundation, that has taken up the cause of Calcutta's older folk.
More and more of the city's aging population are suffering from multiple gerontological ailments and many are feeling unable to cope with the fast-moving lifestyle. Dignity has come forward with innovative techniques to hone their skills so that they can adapt better to their families and the society.
Over 3,000 elderly people in Calcutta have already taken assistance from the organisation. 'Nearly 64 senior citizens have now found new reasons to enjoy life once again and have overcome their problems after counselling. We have also managed to save 39 of them from abuse by their families,' Ganguly added.
Some of the city's reputed restaurants, as well as the city police, have also stepped forward to boost the morale of the aged. 'For the past two years, some leading restaurants are offering our members huge discounts. The deputy commissioners of Calcutta Police have also promised to redress complaints of elderly persons on a priority basis. All police stations have been issued directives in this regard,' Ganguly said.
Productive ageing is another concept that the organisation is stressing on. Many members of Dignity have worked in insurance companies, banks, educational institutions and as doctors or planners. Under Dignity's scheme, members are encouraged to employ their expertise at functions and meetings, in the process encouraging them to sharpen long-forgotten skills.
'For example, some of our members regularly visit old-age homes. They talk, sing and share jokes there. We also meet at regular intervals and our members use their knowledge and past experiences to solve problems of other members,' said Preeti Roy, chairperson of the Calcutta chapter of the foundation.
A helpline, started about five years ago, has also been a big hit. 'It provides information on a range of topics, be it an address or phone number of a 24-hour pharmacy or the price of a 3G mobile phone,' Roy added.