Sulekha means to Write Well. Sulekha Swaraj – independence from poor handwriting!
In 1934, when Sulekha inks had taken birth, the fight was against the Raj. The fight was to establish a Swadeshi product, built by Indians using local resources, but comparable with the best in the world. Sulekha, as we all know, had won that battle to emerge as the ink maker of the Nation. Thank You.
What the founding fathers of Sulekha had never, not even in their worst nightmares conceived, is the kind of challenge that Sulekha is facing now, as we prepare to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence, the fight for which had led to the birth of among others, Sulekha. Yes, we are politically free, but are we free from the menace of Climate Change? From the challenges of Global Warming? Free from a state of apathy, where our children are on the verge of forgetting how to write legibly? Can Sulekha which claims to be a proud Swadeshi entity, espousing the values taught by the Mahatma, remain silent?
No Sulekha cannot remain silent. And Sulekha is seeking to raise the banner by spreading awareness about the need to inculcate the habit of writing among youngsters, especially considering the fact that our children have been digitally damned following an abnormally long period of confinement brought about by the pandemic. Sulekha is going to the schools and colleges to talk to the children and tell them how the fountain pen and ink can be a potent tool that can help them overcome these depressive times that have shrouded them.
Sulekha is also talking about sustainability. About carbon footprints. About how a mere plastic pen, thrown carelessly away, can choke our drainage and our riverine systems, ultimately ending up in the seabed or in landfills, propelling the menace of climate change to leapfrog ahead. Sulekha is talking about the advantages of good handwriting. Sulekha is highlighting the advantages of using fountain pens and inks; how they can lead to greater self-respect and increase confidence; about how the pen and ink can lead to better retention of knowledge; about how the fountain pen can help improve concentration; lead to better mind body coordination and help overcome a finger fatigue, motor functions, writer’s block and most importantly, how the fountain pen and ink is being used the world over as a potent tool to fight against depression against a number of psycho-somatic challenges. The fact that today, fountain pen collecting has become one of the fastest growing hobbies around the world, with a thriving community of collectors ever willing to welcome new converts into their fold is also being communicated, encouraging youngsters to partake the nectar of this very healthy interest.
This effort has been conceived and created by Kaushik Maitra the man scripting the revival story of Sulekha with Chawm Ganguly, fountain pen evangelist, a life dedicated to the fountain pen and ink. The initiative owes its success to the overall direction and guidance of noted journalist, academic and a lifetime user of fountain pens, Suparna Pathak.
The first campus foray was to the Adamas University where a presentation was made to the students of communication department, which was very well accepted by students and teachers who had attended the seminar. A word of appreciation is a must here for Prof (Dr) Mahul Brahma, the Dean, who took personal interest and invited the pen and ink bandwagon to his campus.
This was followed by a presentation in the Communique – a fest where students from a number of the city’s leading institutions participated and was hosted by the Bhawanipur Education Society College. Here too, mention must be made of the Dean of BESC Prof Dilip Shah, a fountain pen aficionado himself, who facilitated the presentation, paving the way for the students to be exposed to the wonderful world of handwriting, fountain pens and inks.
The third event in the series was held in the Jadavpur Vidyapith one of the city’s leading schools, where the excitement of the students who attended the seminar and the teachers who were present had to be seen to be believed.
Such has been the stir created by this initiative that invitations have already been received from neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh. Many educational institutions, including professional ones too have formally expressed their desire to host the organisers to interact with their students. Talks are also on with the body representing the Head Masters of Government Schools to progressively introduce their students and help foster good writing habits.
The initiative is sponsored by Sulekha and is backed by a number of professionals including teachers, child psychologists, academics, experts from the world of fountain pen and inks and is blessed by the Maestro, noted calligrapher Prof K C Janardhan. Prof Y Pitkar, academic and architect, known as the Travelling Inkpot for his passion for the pen and ink is also closely associated with the initiative.
If you want to come on board and adopt this initiative as a CSR project, please feel free to call Sulekha. Educational institutions are also requested to contact Sulekha should they want the initiative to conduct handwriting programmes in their campus.
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