TO PROMOTE EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

TO PROMOTE EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

  • Who would ever have thought that letter writing, would create such a huge impact on the
  • younger generation today, that too via post cards, inland letters. Fact remains that you
  • always can type on the word document, attach it in your email and send across all your
  • communications if it is document attached or just convey on the email screen. Set up was
  • started by the duo, Jubie a management professional and Saji a creative professional in
  • the year 2015, named it LetterFarms.
  • After the start, they launched “DEARKALAMSIR” which was a community art project,
  • paying a tribute to former President the late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the response that they
  • got was beyond anyone’s imagination. As told by Jubie, “We were getting close to 4000
  • postcards weekly from 236 cities. Someone from Meerut send in 90 postcards, one every
  • day for three months. While another post card came from the Allahabad Central Jail”. The
  • “dreamkalamsir” was probably one of the largest handwritten postcards campaigns in the
  • world.
  • LetterFarms have their office at Thevara, Kerala, conducts letter writing sessions, “Write-
  • Drop-Crop” (W-D-C) boot camps in schools and colleges, which they hope would
  • encourage youngsters nurture relationships. Very recently when they conducted a similar
  • exercise at the India Post Stall, in Aspinwall, a KMB venue, which encouraged people to
  • write on post cards, share whatever they felt. They were astounded by the interesting
  • responses, where a group of young women wanted things to change for women. The most
  • interesting part of how the very act of letter writing aids, in letting down one’s guard and
  • expressing deepest emotions is very true to see and believe.
  • The duo is certain that they are on the right track whey they get feedback from those
  • getting the letters. They recall the incident where, “once, I got a call from a school where
  • we had just conducted a workshop. I was extremely worried about what had been written
  • in the letter”. When he got to the school, he encountered a very happy mother excited
  • about getting her first letter from her son; this apart another’s son apologised through a
  • letter written as part of the letter writing camp. The issue is, though they lived in the same
  • house, the son couldn’t bring himself to apologise face to face, the letter helped”. So,
  • letter writing does its job of forging bonds. This type of feedback and others underscore
  • Letterfarms premise that writing letters builds relationships.
  • Jubie, in furtherance said, “It is about emotional intelligence, enough has been said about
  • IQ (intelligence quotient) and we want to start a dialogue about emotional intelligence at
  • the school level. Letters are powerful tools of articulation which, not many use today”.
  • Communication is integral to developing the emotional quotient and intelligence too.
  • Emotional security/quotient/intelligence brings a balance to a person, which can enable
  • them to handle worst situations in life with ease and calmness. Education is purposeless
  • when it is not supported by the emotional quotient, to handle tough situations in life.
  • Emotionally high strung people are more vulnerable when it comes to handling difficult
  • situations, where they would need the support of people or letter writing to understand

  • and handle themselves better. Quiet people can also choose this way of communication,
  • probably they are typically shysters, withdrawn by nature.
  • Their boot camps have occasioned interesting insights, the most common being that few
  • children in the age group between 10-17 have written letters. They don’t know what to do
  • with an inland letter, it confuses them. It takes them at least 15-20 minutes to tell the
  • children how it is folded, then the writing takes over”. After the initial hesitation put
  • aside, once the letter writing starts in full earnest, resulting in the allotted hour for these
  • sessions being insufficient. Other insights included that 82% of the school children were
  • writing a letter for the first time.
  • The “dearkalamsir” project resulted in two books being published- “Dear Kalam Sir”,
  • postcards chosen from among the thousands that were written remembering Kalam were
  • printed in it and “Dream Nation” a collection of post cards (by-products of the
  • “dearkalamsir” campaign) listing out dreams for/about India in 2016 and 2017
  • respectively. LetterFarms also curates post card exhibitions. Of how they choose from the
  • thousands of postcards that come in, Jubie says, they have a team of volunteers that helps
  • in picking and filtering down the huge volume to a few hundreds, before they pick the
  • final, best entries.
  • BE THE CHANGE
  • Their latest postcard campaign, a one-year project, is derived from what Mahatma Gandhi
  • said about the change – “Be the change you that you wish to see in the world” named
  • “Change 150”, run in collaboration with colleges across the country, will showcase the 150
  • brightest, inspired change ideas for the country. “It is to coincide with Gandhiji’s 150 th
  • birth anniversary, we plan to have in, hopefully, 150 cities across the country. We will
  • hand pick top 150 compelling ideas and hand them over to the Country’s decision makes”
  • says Jubie.
  • Be it one on one or the format of letter writing, as long as the things that are to be said
  • are communicated orally or through writing, getting things off chest, or an outlet to weigh
  • down the things that are to be said, it is an awesome feeling that you have said, written at
  • the end, as it leaves one with a feeling of immense joy of sharing things that are to be told
  • and written, whichever way one may choose. Communication was done only in sign
  • languages, before the finding of alphabets or the spoken language. But with the usage of
  • modern technology tools, lets revert back to the postcard/inland letter way of
  • communicating, recalling, re-awakening our olden times, which are ever green and
  • indelible in our minds and hearts.

  • WISHING THE DUO’S JOURNEY TO CONTINUE, IN CHANGING OUR SOCIETY, BACK TO THE
  • POSTCARDS/INLAND LETTERS ERA…...

  • VIJAYASHREE RAMESH, CHENNAI BASED ADVOCATE.