Kolkata: India Post is hosting a unique letter writing contest to encourage people to pick up the pen and write letters. Letter writing declined with the advent of email first, then WhatsApp and other modes of messaging. While those in their 40s and older will remember the charm of mailing letters and postcards inland, letters have become a foreign concept for young people.
The “Dhai Akhar Letter Writing Contest”, which started on July 1 and will run until October 31, aims to revive the practice of letter writing. The theme of the competition is ‘Vision for India: 2047’, to mark 75 years of independence. The aim, an India Post spokesperson said, is not just to rekindle the love for letter writing, but also to find out what people think India will become in 2047. Rs 50,000 and at circle level Rs 25,000 each. There are two age categories: under 18s and adults. Entrants should limit their letter to 1,000 words for the “envelope category” and 500 for the “inner card letter”.
Suryaansh Basumallick (17) says he was taught to write letters in school when he was 10, but did not write a letter any other way. “I guess there must be something special about writing and receiving letters. I have heard my parents and elders speak fondly of letters. In an age where everything has gone digital, I guess there’s still sentimental value attached to letters. After all, when you write on a piece of paper, there is always a personal element,” he says.
Moulick Das (13) said, “I find it hard to write letters because of lack of practice.
Mihiri Basu Mahagama (15) said, “It will be a difficult and strange thing to do. Beyond the classroom, there’s really no need to write letters. english teacher Rituparna Mukherjee said letter writing in classes also took a hit. “Students have not yet mastered the format. They find it difficult to write formal letters. While the way of writing letters is changing, the language and format are also less prevalent,” she added.