Association Of Indian Organisations

Organisation statement:

The aims of the Association of the Indian Organisations (AIO) are (as mentioned in the constitution of AIO (Charity No: SC 037053):
• To promote any charitable purpose for the benefit of communities of people of Indian origin in Scotland and in particular, but not exclusively,
• To promote the advancement of education among people of Indian origin.
• To work for the relief of sickness, suffering and distress.
• To relieve poverty in particular among people of Indian origin either living here or elsewhere.
And in furtherance thereof the Association seeks:
• To co-ordinate the activities of Indian Organisations in Scotland in order to help realise their full potential for the benefit and welfare of the communities of people of Indian origins in Scotland.
• To promote equality of opportunity and good relations among persons of different racial groups.

Commitment to digital participation:

Digital skills can facilitate social interactions through online platform and can help engagement and access to services. It is important to empower people digitally to bring the citizens together in the society as a whole to make Glasgow a true digital city. Community-based projects and actions of individuals can play an important role in this regard. Therefore, this research aims to identify and overcome the barriers of digital divide and social isolation among disadvantaged and older Indian women in Glasgow to empower them and combat digital divide and social isolation.

Support offered:

This work will embed basic digital skills through each session's work plan throughout the project. Basic digital skills will form part of regular activity in each workshop through participation in informal discussions, storytelling as a tool for engagement, hands-on experiences (such as, how to use a mouse, how to use a search engine, use web, how to identify reliable information from a government website and so on; how to email, fill in online forms, connect with family and friends; how to do online shopping, pursue hobbies, and so on). Digital skills will be embedded in storytelling and discussions through subgroups and through each session's work plan, and practical guided sessions of group activities like Facebook group, WhastApp group to pursue common interests like movies, fitness classes, social meetings, walking groups; and discussions of each session's work and feedback. Moreover, each session's work plan will be designed keeping in mind the essential digital skills, i.e., communicating, handling information and content, transacting, problem solving, and being safe and legal online for life and work. The aim is, at the end of the project, to digitally empower the study participants by improving their digital skills to bridge their digital gap, and combat social isolation and loneliness. More specifically, it is important to digitally empower them so that the possible outcomes will help policy-makers and service-planners for future changes; and once empowered these women will, in future, come forward to empower others. Thus, the project will have sustainable future by building the capacity of essential digital skills to empower the ethnic minority women by members of the community.

Support wanted:

'People makes Glasgow' hoarding is seen everywhere in the city. The city faces a number of challenges with regard to people's digital skills. Glasgow has a growing population of ethnic minority population and it has increased considerably in the last two decades. Therefore, it is important the ethnic minority citizens have access, motivation, skills, engagement and supports to use the internet. Increasingly, internet skills are becoming 'basic skills' and people who lack these skills are at risk of being fall in 'digital divide', unable to take advantage of the benefits of modern society, and will be socially isolated. Loneliness and social isolation threaten the solidarity of society and limit the ambitions of empowerment. Digital access has the potential to reduce social isolation by increasing social interactions to 'connect' and meet others with similar interests, and to build supportive networks and friendships, and feel more engaged in society.
Hence, it is important to identify and overcome the barriers within the ethnic minority communities in Glasgow and to bring the citizens together in the society as a whole to make Glasgow a true digital city. Scottish Indian Mahila Cultural Centre (SIMCC) was established to engage and empower senior ethnic minority women. They work towards presenting a positive image of women in society by involving themselves in several cultural activities. This group has been chosen to motivate them learn new technologies and to empower them digitally for their daily living experience, by combatting Digital Divide and Social Isolation and loneliness. There is a clear need to understand the reasons behind digital divide and how to combat social isolation and loneliness. More specifically, it is important to empower them digitally so that the possible outcomes will help policy-makers and service-planners for future changes; and once empowered these women will, in future, come forward to empower others.

Third Sector category: Community, Social or Economic Development