Priya CV, through her ‘Donate A Card’ campaign, is reviving the art of crafting and letter-writing
Priya CV’s home in Bengaluru is a store house of handmade cards, which reach her on snail mail. They are brightly-coloured, containing paintings and pictures. Sometimes they are photographs with thoughtful, hand-written notes.
She sorts them out based on the content and theme and sends them to palliative care centres, orphanages and homes for the elderly in the city, which she has been associated with as part of her social work.
Priya, a chartered accountant, started the campaign, ‘Donate a Card’, during the lockdown. A crafter, she had always made cards for her friends and family, who eagerly wait for them. “During the lockdown, I had a lot of time and fresh ideas and then it struck me: Why not send out these cards to those outside my family as well?” Thus, the campaign was born.
She started an Instagram page, where she posts the requirement for cards and those who wish to contribute, make the cards and send them to her. “There are birthday cards, motivational ones for the inhabitants and ‘Thank You’ cards for the staff and caregivers at these centres,” says, Priya. As of now, she has sent out over 700 cards to centres in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram.
Many of the contributors are crafters themselves, who love the process of creating art with paper and colours. However, Priya does get requests from people who are moved by the sentiment and want to contribute, but are not artistically-inclined. “I usually tell them to write a letter or an inspirational quote or something they like,” she says. Women, men and children contribute. She also has a few contributors from Portugal and Germany as well.
Priya goes through each card she receives and clicks a picture or makes a video of it and posts it on the Instagram handle to encourage and thank the sender. The centres that receive the cards too sometimes send her photographs as feedback.
While it puts a smile on the faces of those who receive these cards, the concept also revives the simple joy of creating something with the hands, says Priya. Especially in this digital age, inspiring someone to write a letter means creating an opportunity for them to engage in the calming, meditative process of letter-writing. Priya conducts letter-writing workshops in Bengaluru as well.
Priya maintains a bank of 300 cards at any given time to cater to requests that might come in from the centres. Owing to COVID-19, certain units are not taking cards at the moment.
Priya and her husband Rahul Harihara Iyer deliver the cards themselves in Bengaluru. Rahul is a co-founder of the campaign, who helps Priya in mailing the cards, collecting packages and related administrative work.
Those who want to contribute to the campaign can reach out to @donateacard on Instagram.
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