Web designer Vijaya Jothsana of Raja Annamalai Puram, Chennai, started with her parents - teaching them how to use a computer to check mail, access the Net, to Google and share web links and photos, and to network with like-minded souls on cyberspace. She opened a window to a whole new world for them ; enabled them to lead a second adulthood. Vijaya found smiles in their face; helped make a difference in the way her parents see life.
Their smiles triggered Vijaya to develop a five-day ‘Neteracy’ (Net literacy) course for uninitiated seniors, if only to bring smiles to some more wrinkled faces. There are hardly any middle-class households that don’t have a computer nowadays. But the elders in most of these households are widely unfamiliar with computer usage. The young ones in the family are so preoccupied with their own lives that it simply doesn’t occur to them to initiate their old parents and grandpa into the ways of the Networld. Elders , on their part, keep themselves severely away from the desktop for fear of mucking it up if they tamper with laptop at home.
Vijaya’s initiative with elders has become a hit. And, at the end of her five-day course Vijaya even gives her students a graduation ‘certificate’ that is cherished by recipients. At the start of class on the 5th day Vijay takes a group photo of her pupils, and before their day is done the photos are e-mailed to the elders. They are thrilled to find the photo in their Inbox that the seniors forward Vijaya’s ‘certificate’ to their friends and relations online.
Reporter Pudur Saravanan who has done a piece on Vijaya’s ‘Neteracy’ initiative for the Tamil Daily ‘Dinakaran’ says she plan to take her class to the senior citizens homes in the city. Mr Saravanan’s report appears at Page 22 : http://www.dinakaran.com/vasantham/ebook/2010/jul/11/default.html