A majority (75 per cent) of 5,000 old people surveyed by Agewell Foundation said that lack of computer skills and digital illiteracy was affecting their life in old age adversely.
The survey found 85.8 per cent respondents to be digitally and computer illiterate. Of this, 76.5 per cent were men and 95 per cent were women, with 82.4 per cent of the digitally illiterate respondents saying they considered themselves “marginalised and under-privileged” in the new settings of society governed by modern infotech and internet.
With the rising trend of the elderly left to fend for themselves, 85 per cent respondents grumbled that their younger family members avoided communicating with them due to their inability to understand the modern digital language of communication.
However, 69.8 per cent the elderly expressed interest in the digital financial literacy programme, of which 84.2 per cent were men and 58.2 per cent women.
- Despite the government’s push for Digital India, 51 per cent of the elderly said there were hardly any facilities where they could get digital training and considered walking to the nearby computer training centres in their old age a major hurdle.
- “With computerisation and digitisation of almost all governmental schemes, now there is an urgent need to make every citizen digitally literate,” Agewell Foundation said in a release.
- The Foundation further said it has been conducting a project titled ‘Digital Literacy Programme for Older Persons’ to provide free computer and digital training to the elderly. It has set up training centres at over 75 different locations across Delhi-NCR, said Himanshu Rath, Chairman, Agewell Foundation.
- The survey gives a glimpse into how the majority of the elderly population feels in the country’s Capital, and throws up the Herculean challenge that lies in India’s hinterland with regard to digital inclusion.
- As per a United Nations Population Fund report, around 12.5 per cent of India’s population will be 60 years or older by 2030, and is likely to increase by three times to around 300 million by 2050.