Fifty-two-year-old S. Radhalakshmi, a Government school teacher, has not used her home computer so far. This is because she has not formally or informally learnt its use for communication. But no longer so. Now she is all set to send e-mails and chat online with her sons in Chicago and Chennai using the new e-mail id she created on Monday.

She is one among the 18 elders who underwent the two-day free workshop on “Internet and Web Communication for Elders” organised by students of the School of Management of Sri Krishna College of Engineering and Technology as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.

And, all 18 of them are a confident lot at the end of the workshop on Tuesday, eager to start using computers for making their life easier. Some working and others retired, who have children and grandchildren living outside Coimbatore, are eager to communicate with them through video calling. Not only that, they are confident of reading newspapers and books online, booking tickets, paying taxes, making bank transactions, and also ordering and purchasing online.

The participants believe that their lives had transformed after the two-day workshop. The freedom they could enjoy with a mere click of a mouse made them a happy lot and they were all praise for the students and faculty of the School of Management for having thought of such a programme.

According to programme co-ordinator S. Jaisankar, assistant professor, School of Management, students and faculty decided to organise this programme after much deliberation and receiving feedback from various sources.

“When we wanted to conduct some programme as part of our CSR activity, some students shared this idea with us. There were so many elders, including school teachers, who were not computer-savvy or had knowledge of Web operations. So we decided on this programme. Students spread the word around and we got our participants. The Chief Education Officer helped us get teachers from some Government schools to attend,” Mr. Jaisankar said.

One participant was assigned to one student and he / she was given hands-on training for two days. Though there was a designated syllabus, students were not strict about it. Depending on the requirement of the participant, the topics were added or subtracted. For example, Ms. Radhalakshmi was taught to access Samacheer related topics online, another was taught to listen to music and watch movies.

It was a fulfilling experience for students as they got a unique chance to teach elders something that would make them connect with their loved ones who lived in distant places, and also the world at large. The response had made them eager to conduct more such courses.

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