Mumbai, 20th Sept’22: In a move to empower India’s elders to tap into the convenience of digitally-accessible services whilst ensuring that they are protected against internet fraud and scams, HelpAge India is launching an online safety skills program for 50,000 elders across 16 states in India, with grant support from Google.org. This grant is part of the broader funding by Google.org to local non-profits to launch outreach programs for vulnerable communities including women, LGBTQIA+, and seniors and support them with skills and resources on online safety.
“This is a first-of-its-kind project for HelpAge. It focuses on the growing need to ensure that our elders are protected from online theft, scams & attacks, as they are the most vulnerable. When the digital boom happened in India, most senior citizens were unable to keep up with the fast-changing technology and were left behind. HelpAge has been conducting Digital Literacy workshops for elders across India with the aim of making them digitally empowered and independent. This support from Google.org has come at the right time, as the pandemic accelerated digital adoption across the spectrum including daily life, but it has also brought with it the high risk to online safety. Therefore, it is critical we inform & make our elders aware of the best and safe online practices that need to be followed during online transactions & interactions. We hope to see more such initiatives from organizations working with the elderly, to drive collective efforts towards keeping them safe online,” says Rohit Prasad, CEO, HelpAge India.
Announcing the grant, Sapna Chadha, VP, Marketing, Google India & South-East Asia, said, “The internet has been an enabler for many, and in particular, the elderly, to lead more independent and empowered lives, especially over the course of the pandemic. However, fraudsters frequently target senior citizens to take advantage of their differing levels of comfort with digital. It is critical that we build online safety awareness amongst elders so that they can thwart the machinations of bad actors right at their fingertips. Google.org is pleased to fund HelpAge in extending their elder care efforts to this altogether new frontier of online safety to ensure that the elderly can develop greater confidence on digital. We’re looking forward to HelpAge bringing their longstanding experience of working with our elders to make these essential skills simple and easy to adopt.”