SA-MUDRA FOUNDATION – wielding the pen to empower the vulnerable.
We often hear, in passing, laments about how our children are forgetting the art of writing. We hear tears being shed about the death of the fountain pen and ink and about the demise of Calligraphy. We hear. We nod our heads, more as a knee-jerk reaction than in approval, even as we busy ourselves with our hand-held devices, firm on our way to damnation.
Meanwhile a student suffers depression, suicidal tendencies – academic failure, compounded by poor handwriting pushing the child towards the abyss of no return.
“Yes, one of the major reasons forcing children to the edge is the inability to achieve the desired level of academic excellence – a fact that is more often than not, complicated and compounded by poor handwriting” said Bharathi Singh, the founder of SA-MUDRA FOUNDATION, a not for profit organisation working for youth wellness and empowerment through psycho-social interventions counselling, life skills and livelihood skills capacity building and theatre campaigns with a commitment to prevent youth suicides.
Bharathi Singh, who is an experienced youth counsellor and personality development trainer says “the very act of handwriting, however simple it may sound on the face of it, is of tremendous importance to us seeking to sensitize young minds who suffer identity crisis, inferiority complex peer pressure, parental pressure for better performance. Poor handwriting one of the major reasons why students lose marks in examination and often deprived of scores due to “not legible” delivery on paper! Good handwriting could be therapeutic helping students to develop mind control, design and deliver thought process, balance emotions, practice patience, which helps have a hold on impulsive, self-destructive tendencies, helps develop reflective thinking. Our therapists have helped identify early signs of depression through ‘handwriting’ for example a counselled was proven suffering suicidal tendencies through his handwriting which indicated drop in baseline, in another case a boy gave a deadly indication of advanced depressive stage and self-harming tendency by cutting his signature !!
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“Apart from the obvious benefits of hand writing” said Prof K C Janardhan – the Maestro, who is also a Trustee of SA-MUDRA FOUNDATION and is actively associated with its projects at the grass-roots level, “handwriting acts as a catharsis – a release and has been seen to help stressed minds find solace, even as they fight with the demons within”.
They should know – SA-MUDRA FOUNDATION has been working to soothe disturbed young minds for the last eleven years and have till date, touched more than a lakh lives positively. Yes, they have extensively wielded the pen to help the young not only overcome their fears, but also taught them how to use the pen to cure themselves, to reach for a new dawn from the abyss they were sinking into.
“Writing with one’s own hands slows one down as it were, which ensures the better formation of the thought being sought to be conveyed, ultimately leading to greater retention and improved understanding” says Prof Janardhan, a management expert and corporate trainer, apart from being the globally acknowledged Calligrapher that he is. “The end result is vastly improved academic performance – a fact that we have witnessed time and again. The efficacy and importance of handwriting in the overall scheme of knowledge dissemination can never be over emphasized. As a matter of fact, parents and educators will do well to wean the young minds away from their all-encompassing dependence on the digital medium and encourage them to write more so that not only can the young minds achieve their full potential academically, but also become more balanced, better human beings”.
SA-MUDRA (which in Sanskrit means a coherent, complete, disciplined, positive self-identity) FOUNDATION has been working with the youth for more than a decade now, and alarmed by the increasing number of youth seeking to end their lives, started the much acclaimed “LOVE-LIFE” campaign to control and prevent loss of young lives through creative awareness drives like street plays, seminars, workshops, literature distribution and handwriting.
Handwriting is an irreplaceable tool for empowerment and it is its universality, the ease with which it can be adopted and the simple interventional steps that can lead to visible improvement are all facts that make it one of the most potent tools in our fight against suicide”.
“We have come across innumerable instances” says Prof Janardhan, around 30% of students contemplating to end their lives were due to poor grades. Grades were poor primarily due to the fact that their handwriting were virtually illegible scrawls. We have helped such students improve their handwriting, which, in turn, have done wonders to their academic performances. Self-esteems have skyrocketed – who does’t admire his (or her) beautiful handwriting – which in turn have not only addressed their suicidal tendencies but have actually helped integrate them into the mainstream society”.
“As a matter of fact,” continues Prof Janardhan, “the pleasure of seeing the pen dance on paper, of seeing one’s thoughts crystallize, especially when a fountain pen is used, is so great that in itself it has a soothing, healing effect on any mind, apart from helping increase attention spans and de clutter the mind, thereby improving the retention ability. This is precisely why we recommend an increased stress on handwriting and lettering in schools”.
Prof K C Janardhan, it warrants a mention here, has been tirelessly working to re-popularise the art of handwriting, lettering and calligraphy for the last three decades – an effort that has seen him travel all the way from the United States across the globe to New Zealand. He is now teamed up with one of the most revered brands in the world to offer his unique power-handwriting tips and clarifying the 7 elements of handwriting as premium information to the unaware but educated public.
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The overall look of the handwriting is slanted at a downward angle. It may begin normally, resting on top of the line, but, as the words make their way across the page they go little by little below the line. If written on unlined paper, the overall look will still be the same. If you were to hold a ruler across the page, the end of each or most of the sentences would be below where you started.
Again, there are a wide variety of choices in the depression arena. For example, it is possible for each word to start normally but end slightly lower than it began, with the next word starting in the normal ‘starting’ position and ending lower, only to continue the trend throughout the text. Some handwriting samples may have an overall concave appearance or convex appearance. Again, each has a different meaning.
One application for the determination of depression is to assist in criminal investigations, specifically suicides. In determining whether a suicide should be categorized as such, an investigation of the crime scene must take place. If a suicide note is found, its authenticity must be determined. If it is, indeed, determined to be authentic by a certified document examiner, then another question comes into play. If the victim did indeed write the note,
was he so depressed as to actually commit suicide, or was he forced to write it against his will?
And, like always, the usual disclaimer is to arrive at a conclusion about someone’s personality, you should look for various other parameters in the handwriting.