‘You Don’t Know What It’s Like To Be Lonely’ Ratan Tata Backs Startup Empowering Sr Citizens

There are over 15 million elderly people living in India alone. Their loneliness stems from the death of their partners, separation from families, and deteriorating physical health. However, Shantanu Naidu, an MBA from Cornell University, founded a startup named ‘Goodfellows’ to empower such senior citizens, reported Indian Express.

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Naidu, who is also the General Manager at Ratan Tata’s office, secured full support from the Tata group head and launched the startup recently.

“You do not know what it is like to be lonely until you spend time alone wishing for companionship,” Ratan Tata said.

What is Goodfellows all about?

According to NDTV, the startup appoints young graduates (known as Goodfellows) to assist senior citizens and provide them with companionship, just like a grandchild would. It has a subscription model, the first month of which would be free for the senior citizen to understand what it’s all about. Later, a nominal fee would be charged, considering the low pension of the elderly.

“The start-up emphasises that companionship means different things to different people. To some, it may mean watching a movie, narrating stories from the past, going on a walk or having quiet company sitting around doing nothing together, and we are here to accommodate it all. In its beta phase, we discovered how organically the Grandpals bonded with the Goodfellows. Mr Tata’s investment in our venture further is a huge source of encouragement to our dedication to this concept,” Shantanu Naidu said.

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This is India’s first such startup that provides companionship to senior citizens and empowers them.

Several people lauded this heartwarming and necessary initiative and showered their support. Here’s what they said:


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Such kind of initiative is the need of the day as there are so many individuals who are unable to provide companionship to their elderly parents because of work purposes. Maybe they live in a different city or country from their parents and are unable to relocate. There are also a large number of senior citizens who have been abandoned by their families with nowhere to go.

We hope this initiative by Shantanu Naidu and Ratan Tata is able to give appropriate support to the elderly!

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