Students of a city college have been spending two hours every week with the elderly of a senior citizens’ home and a club for elders, teaching them how to use technology to stay in touch with their children and putting up skits for them.
The students, in batches, visit the elderly of Snehodiya, a senior citizens’ residence, and Swapnobhor, a senior citizens’ club, every Thursday.
This week, they celebrated senior citizens’ day with music, games and a quiz.
The initiative by Monoshij, a mental health platform, is an attempt to help the elderly not feel alone.
In Kolkata, hundreds of elderly people live on their own because their children have moved to faraway places for brighter future.
Many of the elderly at the home look forward to the young coming and spending time with them.
“Our students have been organising various activities with the elderly and have emotionally connected with them. In fact, some of them wanted to understand how to use technology to connect with their children and our students taught them,” said Manoshi Roychowdhury, founder of Monoshij and co-chairperson of Techno India Group.
The technology training includes net banking and online shopping. “We saw how keen some of them were to learn online banking. We were more than happy to teach them,” said Baisakhi Bera, 24, a student of Techno Main SaltLake.
For Sukanya Das, a final-year information technology student, the project has given her a chance “to be with grandparents”.
She lost her own grandparents when she was young.
“We want to bring back the practice of storytelling between grandparents and youth... It helps the young to connect with the elderly and gives companionship to the elderly,” said Debasish Sen, managing director, Hidco, which runs Snehodiya and Swapnobhor in New Town.
Sen said they want more institutes to join the initiative.