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Mentoring and getting Mentored

Here, I talk about my experiences as a mentor and one who is being mentored. All of us have at some point in time guided someone through something; but nothing seems to give us more pleasure than helping an older person through it. I have particularly taken up the experience of teaching my grand parents to use the internet in different ways.

Photo of Adithya Ravi
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 My first experience of  mentoring someone was  teaching my grand parents  o use the internet. My  grandfather wanted to use  the internet as a general  resource. My grandmother wanted to use the internet to listen to her favorite Carnatic music concerts. The first question that came to me as I started exposing them to the internet was: How will I be able to show the people from the earlier generations that the internet is one of the most resourceful innovation that was created by humans? This question occupied me continuously, as the internet has its pros and cons of usage. It suddenly struck me as a good idea to uncover the internet to them as modules of information that they could work on till they were familiar. I feel that it is very imporatant to expose them to the possible dangers on the internet too. Now my grandfather uses an ipad and draws up data of any kind in a couple of seconds' notice, and also works his bank account from home using an e-banking scheme while my grandmom enjoys her timeless favorites of classical music at any time of the day using YouTube. She also finds the lyrics of various songs and sings along with them. These are huge breakthroughs into our world of advanced technology for these people who have only been referring to the most limited of resources all their lives.
I have been mentored by various people in evry area of my life. The countless excursons I went on from school were the crudest yet most resourceful areas of mentoring I underwent. My grandmother taught me to read and write my native languages(tamil and malayalam). What these mentoring sessions really taught me was the enthusiasm the previous generations have in keeping their traditions alive and in imparting their stronghold of experiential knowledge to the younger generation. 
I have a very strong feeling that if we could organize the older people into communities based on their interests and areas of expertise they will be of great help in helping us improve. Simultaneously we could provide them with tools such as the internet which will help them rewind, revive, relive and reform their experiences. 

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Photo of Meena Kadri

Great reflections, Adithya – and hoping you'll be joining us for the upcoming Ideas phase to propose innovative solutions!