In an age of the Internet and smartphones, handwritten letters are often considered to be a thing of the past, as several social media apps have largely 'digitised' the traditional mode of communication. The pandemic and the ensuing lockdown has aided the growth of digital communication manifolds.
The Federation of Paper Traders Associations of India (FPTA) has come up with an unusual idea of asking people to write a handwritten letter to prime minister Narendra Modi based on three topics. The letters would eventually be clubbed together to create a book, which will be presented to the PM. Additionally, FPTA has also invited participation for an essay writing contest, which should also be handwritten, based on two topics.
Hiren J Karia, secretary of FPTA and partner of Jay Raj Fine Paper, told PrintWeek, "The idea was conceived to inculcate the habit of writing and reintroduce the art of writing letters and eventually promote usage of paper."
The initiative is being promoted by FPTA to commemorate Paper Day, which is celebrated on 1 August.
For letter writing, participants can choose from any three topics, which are largely based on "certain issues of national importance": India's foolproof security (includes land, air, sea, cyberspace and biological weapons); how to combat the Corona attack and emerge victorious; and how to make India Sone ki Chidiya or the Golden Bird again.
"Since the topics chosen are of national importance, it may not only throw some innovative ideas but also give FPTA a good mileage," said Karia.
The letter will be handwritten and posted to Prime Minister's Office South Block, Raisina Hill, New Delhi - 110011. Additionally, a scanned copy of the same document was shared with the FPTA office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For essay writing, contestants chose from two topics: 1) How did you spend your time during lockdown?; and 2) Virtual versus traditional classroom.
"The best letter will be awarded and each participant will receive a certificate," Karia said. "This activity is open to all irrespective of their age and it can be written in any local language."
Meanwhile, participants will be judged under age categories such as 5-12 years, 13-25 years and 26 years and above. The word limit is set at 500. "We have launched this activity on 1 August 2020 and will consider all entries received up till 10 August and announce the winners on 15 August 2020," he added.
Karia also said all participants should mention a footnote in the letter stating "an initiative of Federation of Paper Traders Associations of India to commemorate PAPER DAY (1st August)".
BR Rao, convenor - industry affairs, FPTA, also requested all the lovers of paper and environment to participate in the programme to make it a grand success.
Let's together make this activity a great success.