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Two Mumbai youngsters start venture that assists the elderly to complete routine chores and fight loneliness.entertainment Updated: Dec 19, 2010 15:31 IST
Senior citizens in Mumbai just got a major helping hand. They will no longer have to struggle to complete their day-to-day chores due to lack of help. Two Mumbai youngsters have recently started a venture titled Sharavan Care, which helps the city’s elderly finish routine activities like bill payments and medical appointments, among others.
“While doing my MBA in 2009 in Hyderabad, I realised I wanted to help out with something in the social sector connected to the elderly. While researching the sector, I realised that there isn’t anything innovative that caters to the elderly,” says Kumar Shah, 27, co-founder of Sharavan Care. So he returned to Mumbai and began researching for the project with friend, TE Rassull, 28. In February 2010, Sharavan Care took off and the website www.sharavancare.com went online.
Sharavan Care offers the elderly a host of services for a nominal price. One can get a helping hand in paying bills, arranging a maid, emailing, getting grocery, arranging medical appointments and helping the elderly make it to those appointments. To register, all one needs to do is fill up a form on the website and someone from the team will get in touch within 48 hours. He will then visit the senior citizen, discuss problems and requirements and make suggestions. The company has 17 registered members at present.
“Security was a major issue initially. After all the murders and break-ins concerning senior citizens, the elderly were not prepared to trust us. Forget us, they were not willing to trust the Mumbai police helpline for senior citizens, because it requires one to divulge personal information and anyone could misuse the data,” says Shah.
To overcome this obstacle, Shah and Rassull have registered Sharavan Care as a private limited organisation and signed agreements with their clients that prevent disclosure of their identities. Also, they registered all their employees with the police and background checks were conducted to ensure topmost care was taken.
“The elderly have the money to pay for these services. Their main issue is loneliness. Several of them have psychological problems that we are not equipped to handle at the moment,” says Shah. Sharavan Care is now working with a panel of doctors to find a way to combat this as well.
Sunidhi Shah, 65, based in Mahim, says she was on the lookout for such a service. “It will benefit me immensely, as I am not in a condition to leave the house everyday.”
The company is also looking for volunteers. “We want to meet them first and ensure that they fit our requirements. But please contact us,” requests Shah. There are plans to expand the venture outside Mumbai and have franchises in Baroda and Ahemdabad.
Arranging a maid
Arranging medical appointments
Helping elderly make it to those appointments