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.
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.
— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) August 17, 2022
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.
There are 15 million elderly citizens in India living alone, either due to loss of a partner, or families moving away. #Goodfellows will address the issue of loneliness, which has been the main reason for deteriorating mental and physical health of senior citizens.#RatanTata pic.twitter.com/M8Uv0ZnFqm
— Business Insider India🇮🇳 (@BiIndia) August 17, 2022
“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.
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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This is also a good way to contribute to society !
Happiness flows when younger generation is involved in all this .
— ツ (@silent_woes) August 17, 2022
This man is an absolute GEM. He is the most precious treasure India ever has. ❤️
— Aditya Shetty (@Iamadityashetty) August 17, 2022
Ratan Tata launches India's 1st companionship start-up for senior citizens, which will offer support and friendship to the elderly. He said, "You do not know what it is like to be lonely until you spend time alone."
Much needed step for the goodwill of many senior citizens. pic.twitter.com/HFX7gTTj0J
— Srijan Pal Singh (@srijanpalsingh) August 18, 2022
I don’t understand how can a person be so rich and humble at the same time. He is giving too much to the society knowing no one has the capacity of ever repaying him back even in kindness. No name bigger than him comes in our mind when we think of charity.we salute you sir😇
— Sourick Paul (@paul_sourick) August 17, 2022
What a legend and and always putting community interest first. Setting a tone and example for other industrialist to follow. Jai Ho Ratan tata Sir 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏💐💐💐💐💐💐💐
— Nitin Indus (@nitinindus2103) August 18, 2022
This is just a wonderful idea, have seen the need for this first hand. Best of luck to the team..
One avenue to explore is have seniors become tutors to kids, will add a lot of meaning to both parties…
— macmar (@sks01119) August 17, 2022
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!