Virtual Reality (VR) has been creating quite the buzz in the field of technology. It allows you to experience a world in 3D that may or may not exist. Using this technology, several senior citizens from the city-based old-age home, Abhalmaya, were able to virtually seek the blessings of Bappa at the Shreemant Dagadusheth Halwai Mandir.
Speaking to Pune365, Rugwed Deshpande, the founder director of Digital Art VRe, said that the organisation wanted to do something for senior citizens so they got in touch with the Dagadusheth Temple Trust to take it forward. “We shot the Aarti and other activities at the temple. We made some videos and compiled them and later showed it to the senior citizens. Going out to the mandals may not be possible for many elder people as it is quite crowded. Ganeshotsav was the right time that we conceived the idea. This shows that technology isn’t just for youngsters but it can be used for the benefit of elder people too. When we showed the video to the senior citizens through VR, they removed their shoes and started clapping along with the Aarti as they were watching it. It was a very touching sight to see,” explains Deshpande.
The senior citizens at Abhalmaya were ecstatic while virtually experiencing a visit to Bappa in all his glory. Dr Aparna Deshmukh, the founder of the old-age home, spoke about how technology like this is very beneficial to the old, “The elderly have so many problems. They need some kind of nursing especially if they are bedridden. Most of them are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. An initiative like this is important as elders aren’t able to visit the mandals due to several health problems.”
A 360-degree view of the Dagadusheth Mandal was recorded by the team of Digital Art VRe and the senior citizens got to watch the aartiand also viewed the decorations at the mandal. This provided them the opportunity of being a part of Ganeshotsav without the hassle of being amongst a heavy crowd. Deshpande also mentions that this idea will be extended and taken forward to create a virtual reality experience of various other pilgrimage sites around Pune. His organisation has already tied up with the Gujarat Tourism board. “We will make small two-minute videos of the tourist sites in the state that will be played using VR-enabled headsets,” states Deshpande.
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