The legendary Industrialist & Philanthropist Shri Ratan Tata Ji – (I have high regard for this gentleman), despite his age, is still unstoppable, still smiling, and still thoughtful. He has recently announced an undisclosed investment in startup Goodfellows which offers companionship to senior citizens. Goodfellows, founded by Shantanu Naidu, has worked previously as Shri Tata Ji’s business assistant.
Shantanu Naidu has been assisting Mr. Tata since 2018 who had previously invested in a venture around pets MOTOPAWS [protection (reflective) collars] as well. Speaking at the launch, Shri Tata Ji said no one minds getting old till one actually get old and also added that finding a good-natured companion, which we take for granted, is a challenge. Addressing Shri Tata Ji as a boss, a mentor, and also a friend, Goodfellows' founder Shantanu Naidu said there are millions of elderly people who are living by themselves and have no one to share their lives with.
At the launch of Goodfellows, Shri Tata Ji said, “You do not
know what it is like to be lonely until you spend time alone wishing for
Goodfellows provide companionship to the elderly by using the help of youngsters who have the skills of empathy & emotional intelligence to work as companions of senior citizens. These companions are called "Goodfellows" and are also required to ease seniors' day or help them with any task. The platform will offer travel companions for seniors who are holding back on making trips due to a lack of company or security.
The startup said it is emerging from the beta phase and is ready to offer its services to the elderly in Mumbai with plans to expand to Pune, Chennai, and Bengaluru. It claimed that during the beta phase, it received more than 800 applications from young graduates who wanted to work as companions to the elderly and the company has been working with 20 elders in Mumbai for the past six months and is planning to offer services and eventually scale to the rest of India soon.
It is rather interesting to see how youngsters of today's day and age are taking interest in the elders which people generally take for granted.
The positive impact this idea will have on elder care, in general, will be phenomenal as India lags behind in this area massively. Goodfellows will select young people with emotional intelligence and empathy skills to work as companions of senior citizens who are in need for companionship.
Additionally, they must make their days easier or assist them with tasks that the seniors may find challenging.
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- Amit Anand