85% of senior citizens in NCR are digitally illiterate: Study

downloadNEW DELHI: They too want to chat with friends and family, do e-banking and e-shopping, and watch a flick on Netflix. But senior citizens in NCR feel left behind as India has been taking giant leaps in the digital world.

survey of 5,000 senior citizens in NCR by Agewell Foundations found that 85.8% of them didn’t know how to use digital technology or computers. Of them, 74.9% said their lack of digital knowledge was affecting them in their old age, and they felt marginalised and underprivileged.

About 51% of the respondents wanted to catch up with the latest technology but felt hindered by the absence of any training facility. Another 44.6% claimed that they have no idea about places where they could pick up those soft skills. Only 4.5% said they knew where such training centres were located.

The government of India has recognised digital literacy as a powerful tool to address various issues. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also wants the financial inclusion of people under the Digital India Mission. With all-out computerisation and digitisation, there is now a need for all-out digital literacy.

But while youngsters are well-versed with modern IT and communication gadgets, millions of senior citizens find it tough to pick up such soft skills when they have never seen or used computers, tablets or smartphones. The survey stated that due to the ever-widening generation gap, the elderly are left behind.

Elderly women are worse off than men. About 75% of them are completely ignorant of modern technology. One such woman, who is now digitally literate, told TOI why it was important for her to learn at this age. “Digital literacy has become must for people like me who live alone. With it, we can interact with our family members, relatives and friends who are located in other parts of the world. I use Skype and video chatting more often. That way, I feel connected and assured,” said Vinnie Duggal.

Nearly 85% of the respondents grumbled that their younger family members, who have a relatively more demanding lifestyle, avoid communicating with them due to their inability to understand the modern, digital language of communication.

A large section of the respondents also said it was difficult to walk to nearby computer training centres at their age. A K Khajanchi overcame such hurdles and underwent digital hurdles. Though retired, he was quite enthusiastic about it. “I was facing a lot of problems due to my digital illiteracy. My younger family members used to avoid me as I would pester them to teach me computer applications. Now, I have learnt basic computer applications and I don’t have to visit banks and government offices as I do most of the transactions online,” Khajanchi said.

Post source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/85-of-senior-citizens-in-ncr-are-digitally-illiterate-study/articleshow/60811671.cms

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