Since the beginning of lockdown, we have all been reading heartbreaking news about fellow Indians stranded because of restrictions on interstate travel, or healthcare professionals not being able to hold their babies because of the risk of infection – it’s been overwhelming to say the least. We were in awe of how communities stepped up to support each other – be it in the form of fundraisers, food collection drives, and many other wonderful initiatives. I think as students, it’s often confusing to know how you can help a situation. I know that may sound naive or privileged, but in a time where we could help the most by just staying home, it was confusing to determine what we could do to be more productive members of our community. When we chanced upon The Crisis Project’s (UK) initiative called ‘Letters to the NHS’ – it almost felt like a sign. We finally found a way students, such as ourselves, could contribute.
‘Write to Recognize’ is inspired by that movement. It is a simple platform – we share a story of a key worker with a volunteer, who then writes a letter of appreciation for them. Since people have a chance to nominate key workers, we have been able to send letters to doctors, nurses, pilots, grocery store workers, the police, volunteers and community leaders – the list is endless. Given the structure of Indian society, there are sections that go unnoticed and unappreciated most of the time. This includes key workers like delivery personnel, street vendors, among many others. The lockdown has had devastating consequences for us all and it just seemed like the perfect time to go out of our way to show gratitude for these workers. It is our responsibility to ensure that they feel appreciated and cheered on in the most demoralising of times. It’s really amazing to see just how many people it takes to manage the very strange world in which we live today. We don’t know how much of a difference a letter can make – but we do know that through each letter we are helping build a more empathetic community.
Join us and spread the movement !