HelpAge Indiaâ€™s unique â€˜Project Sakshamâ€™ will provide digital and financial literacy support to disadvantaged elders
In a bid to address the specific challenges facing vulnerable elders in some of the poorest parts of rural India, American Friends of HelpAge India (AFHI) has received grant support from MetLife Foundation of $1.3 million.
This grant will support â€˜Project Sakshamâ€™ and will be implemented in Bihar, West Bengal and Puducherry by AFHIâ€™s partner organization, HelpAge India which has been serving the needs of Indiaâ€™s disadvantaged elders for over 44 years, according to a press release.
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This project will enable HelpAge India to provide practical and comprehensive digital and financial literacy trainings to more than 16,000 seniors so that they can gain access to government benefit programs and use digital financial services in a secure and confident manner.
HelpAge India will also provide comprehensive training and financial support to start or grow their economic activities as well as access to high quality primary health care services â€“ a holistic model to ensure elder empowerment and dignity.
â€œAmerican Friends of HelpAge India is very thankful to the MetLife Foundation for this milestone grant which will be implemented by HelpAge India and will tackle some key challenges facing elders in rural India in a holistic manner,â€ said Pramod Bhasin, President, American Friends of HelpAge India.
â€œThis grant hugely compliments our efforts to galvanize greater support for India’s 138 million elders, 90% of whom are outside of the formal/organized sector and are often overlooked within the broader developmental narrative,â€ he added.
â€œThis is a unique project since it takes a 360-degree view of the various vulnerabilities facing rural elders in particularly low resource settings â€“ these issues do not operate in a vacuum and need to be tackled in an inter-linked manner,â€ said Rohit Prasad, CEO, HelpAge India.
â€œThe grant from MetLife Foundation will provide a boost to digital inclusion and equity â€“ especially in terms of access to financial services, government linkages as well as livelihoods.â€
â€œHelpAge Indiaâ€™s Elder Self Help Groups will be the primary platform through which this project will be activated, with elder empowerment as the central focus,â€ Prasad added.
â€œPNB MetLife strongly believes that both financial and digital literacy are essential to building a financially secure future for all,â€ said Ashish Kumar Srivastava, MD & CEO at PNB MetLife.
â€œWe value MetLife Foundation’s support to American Friends of HelpAge India and its partner HelpAge India, which will help bring these crucial services to the disadvantaged elders in rural India, who are amongst some of the most neglected segments of the populace,â€ he said.
â€œThis innovative, practical and comprehensive approach combines financial and digital literacy with access to key government benefit programs as well as livelihood and healthcare support to provide elders in rural India with avenues for empowerment as they look to rebuild their lives after the pandemic,â€ Srivastava added.
HelpAge India is a leading charitable organization working with and for older people in India for the past 44 years. It runs healthcare, age care and livelihood programs throughout the country & advocates strongly for the cause of the elderly and fights for their rights.
American Friends of HelpAge India is a 501 (c)(3) non profit organization established in 2019 to help Indiaâ€™s disadvantaged and vulnerable elderly population lead healthy, active and dignified lives, free from poverty, suffering and abuse.
MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to continue MetLifeâ€™s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since 1976, MetLife Foundation has contributed over $900 million to strengthen communities where MetLife has a presence.