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Write to Recognize- Being Grateful, Nostalgically

As people who work conventionally underappreciated jobs keep the country running during this pandemic, two students and a group of volunteers try and express gratitude.

‘Write to Recognize’ is a movement in gratitude that aims to thank frontline workers who have shown exemplary service during the pandemic. The platform shares stories of ‘Key’ Workers, and its volunteers then write letters to those people and send them in. They have been able to send letters to doctors, nurses, pilots, grocery store workers, the police, volunteers and community leaders. Within three weeks, they have managed to reach out to more than fifty doctors, fifteen pilots from the Vande Bharat Mission, numerous people who have started or contributed to inspiring projects like Khaana Chahiye, Dharavi Art Room, One Family Soup Kitchen, among others.

The organisation believes that the term ‘key worker’ should definitely be associated with doctors and healthcare workers, but should also be extended to security staff, delivery personnel, street vendors, and the other so many people who have consistently been putting themselves at risk during this pandemic so that others’ lives can function normally. These people are some of the most vulnerable classes and are most likely worst hit by the pandemic, and recognising their efforts and appreciating them is the bare minimum that needs to be done.

This initiative has been started by Tara Luthra and Aanshi Gupta, who are students of Wellesley College, Boston and University College, London respectively. They plan on taking this initiative forward and writing to India’s armed forces too, which they feel is necessary given the current political situation.

“It is very fulfilling because I was feeling quite helpless sitting at home, and even if you can donate resources etc it’s just not the same as doing something more hands-on (although it’s far from the frontline). Hearing from frontline workers who appreciate the letters makes me really happy, and that we are able to bring back letter writing in some form.”

Says Tara, while speaking to DU Beat

Write to Recognize has gotten a huge amount of support, with people not only volunteering to write but also nominating others who they feel should get recognition. Special care has been taken to ensure that these efforts aren’t restricted to certain sections or areas, and that the team can speak and write in different languages so that maximum people can be reached.

“I just feel immense gratitude. We’re experiencing such a unique, confusing, and overwhelming period of time. And nobody knows when this will end or how to make it better. I read somewhere that a little goes a long way, and I’m glad that I could do something to make this very challenging time a little easier for someone.”

Aanshi, Co-Founder at Write to Recognize says

“The greatest silver lining for me during this lock down has been to witness the way people have come together to support each other. Not just our front line workers who are doing a phenomenal job but even just your average citizen , who is thinking about ‘community’ and looking for ways to help from the confines of their home. When the team from ‘Write To Recognize’ reached out to me, I was blown away by their initiative. Such a simple and beautiful way to make a difference and spread some smiles , in a time when they are so desperately needed. The team is so well coordinated, which makes volunteering with them super easy and extremely fulfilling. Neither age nor gender is a bar. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, if you have just a little bit of time to spare , you can volunteer with them to make a difference and make this world just that tiny bit better.”

Anandini Fernandes says,

“Volunteering with Write to Recognize has been such a great experience. It’s provided me with a platform to show my appreciation for the front line workers who make life so much easier during this chaotic time. It feels so good to know that just a few minutes of my time is making someone else so happy. Volunteering to write just one letter is the least we can do right now to show our gratitude. Both Tara and Aanshi are so lovely, and so thoughtful for having started this initiative, and I’m so glad they did!”

Sarrah Faizullabhoy, a volunteer with Write to Recognize says

At a time when things seem incredibly glum, the people at Write to Recognize have worked tirelessly to uphold the right to be recognized of people who work tirelessly for us.

Featured Image Credits: Write to Recognize

Khush Vardhan Dembla

khushd@dubeat.com

Author

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history.Freedom to Express.