CSR: Improving The Lives Of Senior Citizens

Source: The CSR Journal

India has always taken pride in its culture and family values. However, it does not necessarily ensure that the senior citizens are looked after well by their families.

There are several cases in India where senior citizens are left stranded by their family members, after feeding them vague tales. The elderly people are either left alone to fend for themselves or are moved to old age homes. The old age homes might take care of their physical needs, but the emotional needs aren’t really met. And the feeling of being useless is hard to fight.

Elderly women often face more problems like isolation because of gender discrimination. Many times, they are expected to act as unpaid caregivers for their grandchildren and take up household chores in exchange for a roof over their heads. Their social life outside the house is limited to religious gatherings or family outings.

According to the Population Census 2011, there are nearly 104 million elderly persons in India; 53 million females and 51 million males. A report released by the United Nations Population Fund and HelpAge India suggests that the number of elderly persons is expected to grow to 173 million by 2026. This calls for better healthcare facilities and infrastructure. However, the sociological problems that will emerge are unfathomable.

The laws in India governing senior citizens are very progressive and comprehensive. However, many elderly people who are not well educated and do not know about the existence of these laws. This makes them vulnerable to mental, physical and financial abuse.

In order to improve the lives of senior citizens, more initiatives are required that would educate them. Understanding technology will give them more exposure to content and will help them in learning their rights. Exposure to technology will also empower them to be independent and help kill their boredom.

Taking a step in this direction, Domestic consumer electronics company iBall has launched an upgraded “Aasaan 4” feature phone, for senior citizens in India. The phone has a big keypad, enhanced audio, bigger on-screen fonts, emergency alert support and mobile tracking function. The phone is dual SIM and has a 2.31-inch display as well as a Braille keypad. Apart from this, the phone supports one touch buttons for phone lock, LED torch and wireless FM and a simple user interface to make operating easier for senior citizens.

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