It was a coding workshop of a different kind in Chennai for senior citizens, that saw fifteen elderly people with little to no coding experience signing up.
One of the them, 74 year old Muralidharan a retired employee from the TVS Group is trying to learn and practise on a laptop. He did have several doubts and often repeated the same question but his trainer patiently responded and guided him so the group can jointly design a website.
It was a thrilling moment for Murali when he finally got his exercise right. “I didn’t know anything about coding. The session was very useful and the team’s initiative to educate senior citizens is very much appreciated” said Muralidharan to tellmystory.in
There were doctors, retired government employees and home makers at the 3-hour long workshop. One of the doctors who had recently retired as faculty from a government medical college said “Its fascinating and useful. I learnt some basics of coding. I need to practise a lot”.
The workshop is the idea of HashHackCode, an IT company that believes this could empower and motivate senior citizens combat age related challenges. Firstly they say the project could alleviate social isolation of the elderly. Secondly, coding has a lot of cognitive benefits like brain stimulation that keep ailments like dementia at bay. Thirdly the project aims to turn them developers breaking the stigma that coding is limited just to the young and tech savvy and that it is never too late to learn a new skill.
Manu Sekar CEO of HashHackCode said “TechSenior aims to give them the power they deserve to express themselves. Initially they were very hesitant, but as they got more familiar with it our team noticed a significant improvement in their confidence”. He added “We firmly believe that everybody irrespective of age or ability deserve a chance to learn especially in this tech world”.
Encouraged by the response and requests to host more workshops, the team is planning on continuing this initiative by hosting more workshops and personalised classes.
After the pandemic HashHackCode had empowered individuals with autism to develop India’s first accessible website for COVID-19 data. This training had opened new employment avenues for the autistic.