Age No Bar: How this UP-based start-up is connecting families
For GS Pandey, a 72-year-old retired bank manager from Mathura, the Covid-19 pandemic was a double whammy. Keeping aside the tribulations of health and allied fears, his post-retirement life was disrupted by a disconnect from the outside and the inside. While social gatherings were banned, the Pandey family also faced what many other families were facing internally: isolation and disconnection.
Pandemic’s impact on students was captured by a study done in May 2020. It highlighted that seven out of 10 teens faced mental health struggles, 61% faced increased feelings of loneliness, 43% experienced depression, and 55% had experienced anxiety.
It was in these testing times, Mathura’s GS Pandey enrolled for Safalta’s basic graphic designing course and later inspired by his vigor, his family followed suit. A retired bank manager, Pandey had not been a part of the active workforce for 12 years. Speaking about his experience, he said, “I chanced upon this platform through a newspaper advertisement and I was initially apprehensive due to my age. I liked the idea of a graphic designing course that was being taught in Hindi and one could start the very basics from their phones. My grandchildren and most family members are usually on their phones and it does give me a sense of not connecting with them. I initially thought that this would not only be a very good use of my time but it will also help me connect with the younger generation.”
His initial apprehension about being the oldest in his learning batch was inconsequential after he had a conversation with Team Safalta. At 72 years of age, Pandey began learning a course that was designed to provide employment to youth of Tier-2 and 3 cities by just having their mobile phone and a broadband connection. The live classes, recorded lectures being offered for an extremely economical price caught his attention and this course was also being taught in Hindi, a language that is spoken by the masses of semi-urban and rural India, further piqued his interest.
While Pandey’s apprehension of age wasn’t completely unfounded, for a 10-year-old Shreyansh Shrivastava from Barabanki, advance digital marketing wasn’t a difficult feat. Shrivastava is the youngest student of Safalta as the education platform can now boast of catering from 10-year-old to 72-year-old.
While Pandey himself enrolled for the basic course, he realised that Digital Marketing was also something he wanted to do and his next step was to enroll himself in the advanced digital marketing course offered by Safalta. While currently studying, his daughter-in-law, Kiran Pandey has taken admission in Safalta’s English-Speaking and Interview Skills Course. She joined the course to learn the language for herself and her 10-year-old son. Pandey’s grandson is additionally also a part of Safalta’s champion batch.
“I am grateful that I get something common to discuss in my time with my family this way and I will keep my association with Safalta going,” said GS Pandey.
In the case of the Nagpal family from Agra, Safalta’s courses became a way for a father and daughter to spend time together. While Rakesh Nagpal enrolled himself into the platform’s Advanced Digital Marketing course, his daughter Mahak is a student of the app’s Champion Batch for Class 10th. Their initial apprehension of online learning vanished after they found the platform’s lectures that were easy, affordable and accessible. By studying with her, Nagpal gets to check on her progress and ensure that his daughter is constructively utilizing her time.
Commenting on this experience, Himanshu Gautam, CEO and Co-Founder of Safalta said, “It is commendable to see how far we have come in our journey because we have hundreds of these inspiring stories with us. We are not only helping families reconnect, we are also giving them a purpose to stay busy and learn life-skills. Rather than spending their time scrolling through reels etc At the end of the day, our reward is when these people come up to us and share their inspiring stories with us. It feels that our family is growing. When we set out to envision the idea of Safalta, we wanted to harness the untapped potential that resides in the hinterlands of Bharat, and through this unique initiative, I must say that we have achieved something spectacular.”
In the case of the Gurung Family in Dehradun, Naman and Aditi, brother and sister, joined the Basic and Advanced Graphic Designing course together. While Naman already was in the field of graphic design, Aditi joined Safalta to keep her brother company. “Our mentor Divesh Giri Sir was such an amazing motivator, that on the very fast day itself he made all of us feel like a family.. We learnt to be organized, punctual and creative through these apps, which were unfamiliar to us before. Along with the daily basis class, we were provided with different videos on the topic, through which we could do the intense learning. Recorded sessions were provided for the reference,” said Naman.
Naman now thinks that he might become a blogger, due to his newly learnt skills and speaking on Safalta, the duo agrees that ‘while there are other brands offering similar products, Safalta is truly the stand out brand because it cares for its customers and genuinely wants its students to make an impact.’
Such times have called for innovative ways for families to reconnect and the platform boasts of having connected numerous families through its wide range of courses. This start-up’s quest to not only aid people in education but find avenues for families to be connected is unique and laudable.