Deccan Chronicle

Seniors gain an app'titude

Deccan Chronicle| Ruth Prarthana

Published on: December 23, 2018 | Updated on: December 23, 2018

Helping senior citizens get a grasp of technology and live a better life, Aparna designed an app to empower the elderly.

Aparna Thakker

Aparna Thakker

Staying up to date with all that is happening around us is the norm nowadays, and those who aren’t are in for a hard time. People around us expect that we know anything and everything. While youngsters and adults tend to figure things out, it’s the older generation that has a tough time. But Aparna Thakker with her Empowerji app, plans to bring the older generation into the 21st century by teaching them through this app, the tips and tricks to conquer the modern world.

Aparna who has completed her education in Mumbai has her roots in Karnataka. She went on a sabbatical from work to come up with her first venture in Education Technology.

She founded the app in 2018, and Aparna says that Empowerji is mainly inspired by firsthand experience from people close to her. Aparna adds, "The convenience of technology is undeniable but I have seen senior citizens shying away from it. Using apps, sites and devices does not come naturally to them. Since we are too busy to teach them, they end up adopting a tedious way of doing things when there is an alternative."

Aparna founded Empowerji which literally means empowering the ji’s (elderly). "It is aimed at bridging the gap between seniors and technology so that they can live happier, independent lives. Since seniors need repeated help to master new tech processes, we created the Empowerji app which teaches them how to use tech in video form which they can play anytime anywhere," she explains.

Available in English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati, the app is currently free and soon they will launch paid services. On how a senior citizen can use this app she explains, "They can learn how to use mobile apps, sites and devices with the short learning videos that simplify steps. eg: How to pay bills online, make WhatsApp groups etc. The videos are easy to grasp because they have audio, subtitles and visuals of the said application. On every screen, there is a voice guidance option explaining what the user can do with the screen and also a video demo of how to use the Empowerji App. There is also a community section where users can share their written or photographic work with others." The app has just launched and has been well-received by senior citizens. Aparna adds, "We have not promoted the app in Bengaluru yet, but we plan to reach seniors there soon through our app and workshops."

Aparna plans to conduct seminars and workshops with regard to the app. She adds, "These workshops will teach seniors how to do basic mobile tasks, social media, app download, online bill pay, e-shopping, cyber security, etc. We also inform seniors that they can download our app for continued learning, anytime, anywhere. We plan to roll out our workshops pan India to reach out to more seniors." On how this app will empower the older generation, Aparna says, "The app will help seniors independently learn technology without being dependent on friends and children. Seniors feel more confident to use apps and sites and have a sense of empowerment."

Talking about what she has planned for the future, "Very soon we will be launching services in the online learning and tech support space. This will provide continued support to seniors to learn or get help," says this mother of two.

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