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AGE DOESN'T MATTER- THE WEB GETS WOVEN

On a vacation

She is in her 70’s, an age when people seem to falter and get gripped in the mental obstruction of being alone and helpless. For her this all stands false.

A housewife who lived all her life looking after the welfare of her kids and family ,attending to endless relatives that stormed her place during vacations, she never got time to pursue her interests. Still she managed to read lot of books and kept herself updated with the latest news around the world through the newspapers. A hard-core emotional woman, who is a TVholic. Yes, she loves the soap operas of Indian television without any discrimination.

But as time passed, children grew up and went away from home to pursue their careers and then finally leading their own lives. The long wait for the annual vacations made her feel more vulnerable and she longed for times when the whole family would get together with the kids and grandchildren too.
Technology has created a unique place in life of Indians now since the last ten years. Before that even cell phones were a rare view and a prized possession. Generations of the new age got used to this change and grew up with all the latest gadgets now available around the globe, from the PSP’s to the social networking site apps.
For the ones like us, we had to learn with time the use of computers and technology as and when it was introduced. To be in pace with our kids we needed to know their world too.

However, for the older generation it was a magical world. They feared, ignored and were scared of the modern technology. Very few who had the urge to learn and whose professional area demanded or required such advanced usage had to learn the tech.
She was born in an age when telecommunication too had not developed in India. She grew up in times and places where contacting people would require months through postal services. She lived in the era when technology started making its entry into India and gradually became a part of people’s life.

She like other older people too, was apprehensive initially to learn about the basics of using a computer or a cell phone. It took months for her to get control of the freaking mouse which ran everywhere on the screen with the cursor.
Gradually with her interest and determination, she got into the nerve of the latest mode of communication.
Today, she can sit for hours on Facebook to hear from her children, relatives; friends.She knows now what it means to be online and how to chat .She is well accustomed to use Skype and is regularly in touch with everyone..
She can make calls through her cellphone and can sms whenever required. Carrying the mobile in her purse makes her feel safer and seeing a computer anywhere, she just wishes to sit on it for sometime to check her mails and FB!
Technology transformed her life into a more enthusiastic and engaging one with the world. Her loneliness now rests aside when she logs in and reads the latest info or skypes with her children. Distance now does not matter; the tech brought her closer to everyone.

For a woman who had only been confined to her house was now well linked and aware of the world through the Internet. She can access the news and recent updates just by a click from her home.
This is the real story of a woman who now connects with the whole world. She is none other than, my mother in law, Anita.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »

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Susan K.A.'s picture

I love it!

A moving account of a woman who overcomes her fear of technology and learns to embrace it so she can stay in close contact with her loved ones. Beautiful story! I liked your funny description of her attempts to "get control of the freaking mouse which ran everywhere"! Now I need to go text my Mama. :)

______________________________________________________________________________

"I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being."
-Hafiz

Soumya Vilekar's picture

Thank you

Dear Susan,
Iam so glad that you could co relate with the story . It is really very hard for people of the older generation to cope up with the changing advancement of technology at such a rapid pace and more problematic for the ones who had never seen such technological advances ever in their life. The last ten years , India has changed drastically,where even a hawker now keeps a mobile and is aware of words called internet surfing . Indeed a noticeable growth ,but for old people,this had become a scary thing. I do admire the way she showed her interest in learning and did overcome all her apprehensions to learn the ways to get connected to everyone.
Thanks for the kind words,she too is glad to read about herself and the comment that you gave.
Best wishes,
Soumya

Y's picture

How wonderful that she is

How wonderful that she is still willing to grow!

Y

Soumya Vilekar's picture

Very true

You are very right Y,its wonderful that she is still willing to grow. And seeing you here too is great , writing and sharing things from your place .
Thanks a lot,Y.
Best wishes,
Soumya

bumpette's picture

Wonderful

She is an amazing woman. Many women that age would not make the attempt to learn. We have tried to teach 72 yr old my mother-in-law without success. She will use email but facebook or any social media is out of the question. Fortunately she has become fairly comfortable with email so at least family & friends have that as a way to stay in touch.

Soumya Vilekar's picture

Very true

You are quite right Bumpette,when you say many people won't try or even attempt to learn at such an age. I know its is harder for them to understand and get into the feel of such technological advances,even though it shall help them a lot through their loneliness and helplessness. Good that your mom in law at least mails to be in touch. That way everyone is able to be know about their welfare.
Glad you too shared your experience here.
Best wishes,
Soumya

Merci
Votre article a touché mon cœur et me fait croire qu'avec la nouvelle technologie numérique,les cultures africaines changeront favorablement leurs mentalités et leur visions sur la vie des femmes .
Merci et courage ma Soeur

Ezechiel

Soumya Vilekar's picture

dit à juste titre

Cher Lwesso,
Iam-vous que cette technologie de connecter les gens à travers le monde grâce à un clic doit certainement apporter des changements dans la vie de beaucoup et sûrement dans la société africaine. Femmes lors de se connecter les uns aux autres à travers le monde, la différence est un dtehgap comblé par les différentes pensées et les opinions qui sont partagées par tous et chacun. L'encouragement de l'un apporte beaucoup ensemble et à l'avant.
Meilleurs voeux pour un changement plus lumineux,
Soumya

Soumya Vilekar's picture

dit à juste titre

Cher Lwesso,
Iam-vous que cette technologie de connecter les gens à travers le monde grâce à un clic doit certainement apporter des changements dans la vie de beaucoup et sûrement dans la société africaine. Femmes lors de se connecter les uns aux autres à travers le monde, la différence est un dtehgap comblé par les différentes pensées et les opinions qui sont partagées par tous et chacun. L'encouragement de l'un apporte beaucoup ensemble et à l'avant.
Meilleurs voeux pour un changement plus lumineux,
Soumya

Lwesso's picture

MERCI

Merci pour avoir compris notre travail.

Ezechiel

Dear Soumya:
Thanks so much for sharing the story of Anita, your amazing mother-in-law, and how she learned to use digital technology for the most pure of its purposes - connection with others.
When I read about how she was afraid of the computer at first, it took me back to 1989 (I think it was then) with my brand new Sanyo computer (long before Windows, so I had to use codes to communicate with it and tell it what I wanted it to do). I can see myself now, sitting there, afraid that I was going to break it or do something that would accidentally destroy it :)
Seven or eight years ago, I had to learn how to create a wiki (participatory website) for a research project I was working on. I had to learn so much that there were times when it seemed my head hurt, but I learned, and created a wiki called Hopebuilding to share stories of achievement by ordinary people around the world.
It is so wonderful to see women of all ages embrace digital technology to link ourselves together and to create change. In this campaign, the young and the old can come together to work on building a world in which all our voices are welcomed and heard.
Best wishes,
Rosemary

Dear Rosemary,
Thank you for sharing your experience with us ,as you go through the article of my Mom in law. I know how freaky and scary it must have been initially .For before the windows,I too had the weirdest experiences using Ms DOS and thanks to Windows ,things have changed and have become much easier to handle and understand.
Yes,it has been her effort that is commendable that she tried to overcome her fears and learnt the usage of technology .
Your project and the wiki is a wonderful thought and initiative that shall provide the common persons and ordinary ones to get encouraged and be more inspired. I went through your page and the share of news all around the globe is worth mentioning.
Today this technology has bridged the gap of the young and old to create a new world.
Best wishes for everything,
Soumya

SSD's picture

Superb !

And, well, this is a superb acknowledgement to Mrs. Anita Vilekar !!
The scope and the perseverance of learning new and advanced technology can be rather daunting, even, challenging to people who are younger then Mrs. Vilekar, but, the way she has conquered the endeavour of gaining knowledge of such platforms is very courageous and rather a fantastic accomplishment. (My Gosh, I ought to learn from this lovely lady !).

For Anita Vilekar: thank you, dear aunty, for being a woman of substance. Please continue to inspire us with your knowledge, wisdom, laughter and affection. Yes, I am proud to know Soumya has such a great mother in-law as I am sure you are equally proud of having her as your daughter in-law. What a dynamic family !

Thank you, dearest, for writing an encouraging and inspiring post ! Keep shining with your profound ink...

Cheers,
Shaheen

Dear Shaheen,
Glad to see you reading this and saying the few words for her. Iam sure she will be more than delighted to read such an inspiring and beautiful message with compliments for her.
Her efforts are really worth mentioning and the way she handled and overcome the glitches is also commendable.Its true Shaheen ,that this advanced technology sometimes leaves a challenge for us and to get into the feel of it and use it for someone of her age is an accomplishment.
Thanks for the ever encouraging words to motivate me more,
Best wishes,
Soumya

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Soumya -- THANK YOU.

Dear Soumya,

I find it wonderful and unexpected that you have chosen to write this magnificent piece about one of the treasured elders of our world, so often cast aside in favor of our younger generation.

The story of your wonderful mother-in-law, Anita, is both uplifting and eye-opening; it is such a statement about how technology can empower us on so many levels, including -- and perhaps most importantly -- by making communication with our beloved ones so much easier than it once was.

What an enormous, positive effect this has had on Anita, opening up her world and not only making her family more accessible, but becoming so much more accessible herself!

. . . is she on World Pulse yet . . .?

I thank you and bow to you for telling us Anita's story -- and telling it so eloquently -- and may it be read by many other grandmothers -- and even great grandmothers! -- so that they, too, can reconnect with the world.

With Respect and Gratitude,

- Sarah

Soumya Vilekar's picture

Most welcome

Dear Sarah,
You shared your view very aptly, that really technology can help us at many levels, even in helping out to near and dear ones for those who havent been a part of this advanced technology .
Iam glad the real experience that I shared through my post is surely going to interest many grandmothers and hope they too invoke interest in getting tech savvy to change their mode of communication and become more accessible.
As children ,when we are far away from our parents, its the technology and internet that keeps us connected and informed about them even from miles away.

These small stories of life create a difference in society and the thinking of many and such stories should be always shared by one and all.
Thanks for being here Sarah and for encouraging . Iam happy that you enjoyed and liked the narration.And ya, she isn't on Worldpulse.
Best wishes,
Soumya

Millie Banda's picture

Age doesnt matter

Thanks for the inspiring story about your mother in law! she sounds amazing and i really admire her for still learning new things that actually make our lives easier!

positive millie

Soumya Vilekar's picture

Thanks

Thank you Millie for encouraging her more through your kind words. I hope these small instances inspire more and more people from the older generation to get connected to their loved ones through advanced technologies.

Best wishes,
Soumya

KASINDI BULAMBO's picture

Quelle femme vaillante!

Dear Susan, c'est vrai, il est difficile de transmettre une si grande connaissane aux personnes âgées et sutout à ceux là qui n'ont jamais vu, ni touchés l'Ordinateur. mais votre grand-mère est à félicitée. car bon nombre des celles-ci, se disent qu'elles n'ont plus le mémoire.
comme chez vous, nous aussi les femmes âgées ont l'envie d'apprendre car bon nombre sollicite l'utilisation avancée de cette technologie. mais seulement c'est comme si cette technologie est encore à sa phase embryonnaire car c'est l'époque pendant laquelle elle commence à faire son entrée au Congo, c'est la raison pour laquelle elle interesse encore plus les jeunes que les personnes âgées car d'après eux, elles ont déjà depassées leur temps.
mais avec cette histoire, je trouve que la technologie n'a pas de limite d'âge et avec elle, toutes les grands mères auront cet envie d'être à la ligne avec la technologie.

Félicitation et courage à ta grand mère.

kasindi

Soumya Vilekar's picture

je suis d'accord

Cher Kasindi, Merci de partager votre point de vue sur la technologie et l'ancienne génération. Oui, très vrai qu'ils ont ce problème de mémoire diminuer, mais beaucoup ripostent contre le temps et essayer de se connecter et d'apprendre plus. Iam sûr Congo trop offrirait certaines mesures pour les femmes de toutes les générations, une plate-forme pour être au pair avec thse avec le world.Even si commencé à un stade ultérieur, le chemin sera certainement vous emmènera là à teh destination en un rien de temps.
Meilleurs voeux,
Soumya

adeakins's picture

bridging the distance

It is the beautiful thing about technology - it can bring people who are very far apart, who do not get to see each other regularly, close.

Soumya Vilekar's picture

Aptly said

Thanks Adeakins for reading this article and sharing your precious view about it and the technology that connects us all.
Best wishes,
Soumya

Stephanie Mauziko's picture

Importance de la technologie

La technologie nous donc faciliter le moyen de vendre et d'achat,elle a mis a notre porter un vaste marche dans peu de temps et sans déplacements. Elle a nous facilité de faire des grandes accomplissements dans différentes domaines mais en un temps record.

STEPHANIE

Soumya Vilekar's picture

Correct

Très vrai Stephanie. Technologie tout en ayant des effets manyside nous a aidés à atteindre les niveau mondial dans tous les domaines et nous aujourd'hui peut étendre un helpinghand trop à quelqu'un assis loin dans un autre coin de la world.Thanks beaucoup de partager votre point de vue ici.
Meilleurs voeux,
Soumya

Ridingthecamel's picture

Thank you

Dear Soumya,

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story!

My father is about five years younger than your mother-in-law, but he's only just finding out how this modern communication technology works. Just the other day he told me, all flabbergasted, how he accidentally found out that if he deleted mails from his inbox on the "small computer" (his laptop), the mails are also deleted in the inbox on the "big computer" (the desktop.) Compared to your mother-in-law, he still has a lot to learn!

Papa used to warn me about how I would become alienated from society by spending so much time on facebook and whatnot.. Perhaps there is a truth in this -we still need "real life" communication to a certain extent.. But now that he's retired and all the children have left the house, he's finally learning that there's also a flipside to the story about internet.
Like you so amply wrote; internet can strengthen our social relationships or even create new ones.
And it's really great that elderly people do not have to become excluded from society the moment their children leave the house or when leaving the house themselves becomes too difficult anymore, thanks to this lovely piece of modern technology.

Anyway, your story made me think about this and it really brought a smile on my face. So again; thank you!

ps. will show my papa your story as well.. hopefully it will encourage him to keep up his struggle to master the workings of his email and skype... and perhaps... one day... even facebook. ;)

Judith

CamelRider

Soumya Vilekar's picture

Most welcome

Dear Judith,
I should thanks you for sharing the experience of your father here. I know how hard it is for them of the previous generation to move onto this kind of communication system which seems virtual and handled by the technology and the gadgets.
He is right to much extent when he says that we would get alienated form the real world if we deal more into this social world
,but it every step of science has been a boon and a bane ,every time it got invented. Remember when the Television was first introduced.
However we always have to maintain a balance between the two sides of the weighing scale, to have the best of both worlds and utilize the same in terms of broader perspective.
Iam sure your father too would get encouraged by small efforts and would one day over power the fear of handling the comp.
He too would love to get connected to the near and dear ones through this magical world of internet to bridge the distance.
For older people this sortof communication is a boon,where they can wipe out their loneliness and use their creative pursuits and knowledge by sharing with a wide circle of friends and relatives.

Iam overwhelmed,that this story made you smile and you feel to share it with your dad.
All the best from me for your venture and to your dad too,
Soumya

Riya's picture

Age does not matter..

Thank you Soumya for sharing this story with us. I enjoyed reading it. It is an excellent example of the opportunities provided to a woman through technology, it is never too late to learn new things. However, as you beautifully write, if your mother- in- law was provided this opportunity in her early years imagine how many contributions she could have made to her family and others around her. Here, I am not trying to minimize the importance of raising children and taking care of household stuff, however, sometimes I feel that often women are a much more powerful force than simply keeping their household in order. The capacity of women, with support from their family, relatives and friends, is amazingly wide reaching.

Anita is a representative of many societies where women are still confined to their houses, however they have not let themselves be limited to household chores. Lets hope there are many Anitas, who could encourage there daughters, daughter in laws, nieces, sisters and other women around them, so every one can raise their voices together. Whether just chatting with family members who live far away from them, or ones who live in the same cities, connecting and sharing ideas and knowledge is key to changing for the better.Thank you again for sharing the story with us.

Riya

Soumya Vilekar's picture

You share a very precious thought

Dear Riya,
You speak in volumes when you share the thought of providing opportunities to women through technology. Yes,it would have been a great boon ,had the woman been never confined to only household chores,family responsibilities and tied to the duties of rearing a family,as a woman is highly multitasking and can create a wonderful balance of the two .
Iam happy you could resonate with my view and found my mom in law to be the voice of thousands of women ,and whose story could inspire and encourage many to get connected and share the knowledge.
It is absolutely true that its never too late to learn. The light of knowledge if reached through any medium is welcomed and illuminating.
Hope this light reaches all through simple words and simple actions. We together then can change the society and the world .
Best wishes ,
Soumya

Sahro's picture

Thank you!

Dear Soumya Vilekar,

As a Listener, i enjoyed dreading your story. What a remarkable story of determination and perseverance.
It was very uplifting to read about such a positive and powerful story undoubtedly reflecting the voices of 1000s of women around the globe with similar stories.

It showed that one is never too old to accomplish anything!! The internet provided the opportunity and this goes on to shoe about how powerful and empowering the ICT can be.

Your story also challenges the stereotype that older people, especially older women, cant learn and/or are absolutely technology challenged. Your story breaks stereotypes!

Thank you again for sharing it with us!

WorldPulse Community Advisory Board Member
Globcal Ambassador at: https://www.facebook.com/301986015692/photos/a.10150304573125693.561701....
Founder

Soumya Vilekar's picture

Welcome dear

Thank you Sahro for joining here and sharing your views as well on the story. The myth ,that old age cannot allow anyone to go beyond the limits to learn ,is all that we have in our mind. What we need is the mindset and the motivation for such people to drive them into creating a change.A change which shall bring happiness and share the knowledge around the world. Specially women, they need to be aware and well equipped with every advanced technique and technology at par with men,then the the word equality shall stand true.
Best wishes ,
Soumya

Sahro's picture

Thank you!

Soumya,

Thank you for your beautiful and generous words.
With such artistic words, you could easily be a great poet.
I am sure you one! Would really love to read more from you!

Cheers, Sahro

WorldPulse Community Advisory Board Member
Globcal Ambassador at: https://www.facebook.com/301986015692/photos/a.10150304573125693.561701....
Founder

Soumya Vilekar's picture

Welcome Sahro

Iam humbled for your gracious appreciation .
Best wishes,
Soumya

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