Over the weekend, I addressed a group of 25 special women, did a session on Financial Education. The women were mostly above 70. Yes, above 70!
So if you are wondering what are all these elderly ladies doing? Why do they want to learn about Finance and investments at this age? Here’s what special about them. They are all specialised Doctors – Scientists and retired from senior positions from BARC. And now they run a non-profit organisation called – Indian Women Scientists Association (IWSA).
A bunch of bubbly, highly committed, motivated and dedicated women. The objective of this organisation is to encourage and promote pure Sciences to the masses. So they run a whole lot of science based programs, workshops, fund research projects, science exhibitions. If that was not enough, they also have a lot of community based activities. They run a Working Women’s hostel that has 160 beds, Day care centre that nurtures 40 kids, Nursery for toddlers, Computer Lab, Science Lab where anyone can go and do science experiments, and a health care centre. They even offer scholarships to under privileged girls who excel in science and wish to study further. All this being run by women of their age. Their enthusiasm and motivation was contagious.
Now coming to what was I doing with them? Well, they wanted to learn about the various investment options for their non-profit organisation. All they knew about was Fixed Deposit. And now that the interest rates for FD have become low, they are looking for better investment options. So I presented to them the various investments options including Mutual Funds that are applicable for Charitable Organisations including Mutual Fund. More importantly, I took them thru the process of investing, pitfalls to avoid and setting of expectations while investing.
They actively participated during the session, more than so many others that I presented to before. They were like school students noting down points from the discussion, unlike us who just click a picture with our mobile phone. Their minds were sharp and being quick learners, asked me some very pertinent questions.
At the end of the session, a few women came and told me, how through-out their working life they were so involved in their world of science that they did not give much thought to finance and investment. They lead a fairly comfortable life post retirement, so no regrets so to speak. But they felt it would have been nice if they had learnt about finance and investments too. More now because they have to go to either their husbands or children whenever they receive a letter or communication from companies.
It was a learning experience for me on many levels. Firstly, there is no age limit for learning. Secondly, a sense of purpose brings in so much enthusiasm and motivation for life. Finally, adapt, keep yourself updated in your area of work.
I left the place with so much pride for these women achievers and a promise that I will do whatever I can to help them.
P.S – They are always looking for donations, so any help on donations would be helpful to them, especially towards scholarships. You can look up their website to know more about them. www.iwsa.net