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I just called to say I love you!

22 Apr 2013

Stevie Wonder once sang, I just called to say I love you!

But what if you could not call your loved ones because your phone had small buttons that you could no longer see?

This is the stark reality that many older people face worldwide. Our recent joint report with the UN, Ageing in the 21st Century, showed that 61% of older people across the world use a mobile phone. However, most new mobile phones are designed for young people and can be over-complicated and hard to use due to small buttons or touch screens.

A social enterprise

Sri Lanka's largest mobile telephony service provider Dialog Axiata PLC is trying to change that. By launching the Big Dial Phone, Sri Lanka will for the first time have a phone tailor-made for older people.

What's more, as part of HelpAge's work around social enterprises, Dialog Axiata will be donating 300 Sri Lankan rupees (USD 3.8) to HelpAge Sri Lanka for each phone sold.

The money generated from this project will help older people in Sri Lanka.

Key features

HelpAge phoneCosting 3,990 rupees (USD 31.50), this mobile comes with a free Dialog connection and has unique features, such as:

  • a key pad with large, alphanumeric keys,
  • a SOS button to inform your loved ones in the case of an emergency,
  • an in-built high power torch,
  • a FM radio.

Providing loved ones peace of mind, this phone also makes a great gift for your grandparents.

Buy one now!

If you are in Sri Lanka, visit a Dialog store today. You can also buy online

A small start

This new phone shows Sri Lanka taking a lead on this issue and is a first step in ensuring equal access to technology for older people. In the next ten years, there will be over one billion consumers aged over 60 worlwide, representing a huge shift.

We hope to replicate this social enterprise across the globe and are now looking for other companies to partner with us in providing products and financial services tailor-made for older people. If you'd like to partner with us get in touch at mpaul@helpage.org.

Your comments

Noor

Just amazing effort!!!! really i appreciate this approach heartily. May God Bless U all

Vichheka VANN

Dear HelpAge International That is a fantastic idea of having the larger buttons for older people. With experience so far in Cambodia, I have observed that Cambodian older people found it hard to read and press the button. They had to closely look to the cellphone. This new invention will benefit for all now and the future in the world. Nice job! :-) Best regards, Vichheka

Shafiq R. BHuiyan

wow! finally.. great news.. congrats Mayur, this is a great success..

Mayur Paul

Thanks all for the encouragement and lovely comments!

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Author profile


Mayur Paul
Country: U.K., India
Job title: Head of Communications and Brand

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These blogs are personal reflections and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelpAge International.