Meet the 77-year-old smartphone convert!

Surekha ji had learned the basics of smartphone like sending text and WhatsApp messages from her daughter and neighbours and was making do with this for a while.

She used to see youngsters glued to their smartphones and using it not just to communicate with each other but also to buy stuff, pay bills, find their way around the city, watch videos and a lot more!

Surekha ji was keen to learn more about her smartphone so that she could be independent even though her family was “very supportive” and willing to help her. As luck would have it, she heard about SHB Social Foundation’s Smartphone Assistance program for seniors from one of the volunteer’s grandmother and began attending it. 

She thoroughly enjoyed it and was a very consistent and diligent student, having attended more than thirty of the fifty-plus sessions! She made it a point to write down everything that she learnt, so that she could practice at home and remember everything clearly.

Since attending SHB’s program, she has learnt to take photos, send messages and pay her bills through apps. “The most difficult thing for me to learn was paying my bills on my phone,” she says. But she has by now mastered this too!

Just recently, Surekha ji went on a Europe tour. Her family was nervous about sending her on the tour, but the sense of independence that she gained through her sessions at SHB Social Foundation had bolstered her confidence. Throughout her trip, she shared photos on the class’s WhatsApp group!

There have been social benefits from the program too. She has had the opportunity to interact with other seniors. The Smartphone Assistance program has also made her more appreciative of the youth. In her opinion, programs like these help bridge the generation gap that separates the young from the old. “I tell my granddaughter,” she says with a warm smile, “that after she completes her tenth standard, she too should volunteer for the program.”