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India is home to nearly 104 million elderly persons (60+ years) which is expected to rise to 173 million by 2026. For a developing nation like India which has a huge pool of human resource. New technological advancements come both as a challenge as well as a boon.
India is on its way to become a $1 trillion digital economy soon. There has been very rapid adoption in terms of digitization among the Indian population, however, the elderly population has been among the largest due to the various issues they face.
Challenges for an elderly population with digitization –
- According to a recent survey by an NGO Agewell Foundation, around 85.8% of the 5000 betrayed elderly respondents were found to be digitally and computer illiterate 70.5% men, 95% women.
- 75% of these digitally illiterate respondents accepted that lack of computer skills and digital literacy is affecting their life during old age, adversely.
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The challenges arise primarily due to –
- Lack of support from the younger generation
- Lack of interest to learn
- Complications in devices and learning ability
- Adoption with a generation gap
- A huge chunk is unable to afford devices.
- Around 51% of respondents in the Agewell Sulwag mentioned that there are hardly any facilities where they can learn computer applications, digital training.
Benefits from digitization and e-governance-
- Easy access to online services like e-pension, birth certificates, adhaar services, directed beneficiaries.
- Easy access to transport services (ola, railways, etc.)
- Improved and increased social connect with remote friends.
- Ensured safety in terms of bank accounts and encryptions, hence security from frauds.
- The smart device like health bands, smart shops eases health monitoring and parameter analysis.
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Digitization is a commendation move with being the demand of the hour considering the fact that digital connectivity adds nearly 1.5 to 2% GDP of a country. The need of the hour is to bridge the gap in terms of learning and adaptation to make initiatives like e-governance and ‘broadband for all’ a holistic success.