As India gears up to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi eight months from now, Kochi Muziris Biennale opened a unique exhibition of handwritten postcards as a tribute to the Father of the Nation on his martyrdom day.
The launch of ‘CHANGE150’ by the India Post and NGO LetterFarms saw the release of 150 white balloons into the sky above the main Aspinwall House venue of the 108-day festival.
CHANGE150, derived from Gandhi’s famous words ‘Be the change that you wish to be in the world’, aims to mobilise ten lakh handcrafted ideas of social change generated by the country’s young generation. From them, 150 select postcards bearing the “most effective” will be presented to the Prime Minister, organisers said.
The campaign was kicked off on the last Gandhi Jayanti day (October 2, 2018) among 150 schools in Delhi, featuring school students of classes 6 to 10. The participants were asked to write or craft an idea of social change on a postcard and send it to Kochi-based LetterFarms that had come up with idea.
At Fort Kochi’s Aspinwall, the main venue of the biennale, India Post has set up a stall that will be active for a month now. There, youth up to 35 years of age can pick a postcard and write on it about any social change they think India merits today.
Overall, at the national level, the campaign aims to go to 150 cities in India. So far, CHANGE150 has covered 30 of them. The ‘change ideas’ make a mention an array of issues with social relevance such as gender equality, environment, religious tolerance, women empowerment and deaddiction.
The Aspinwall leg of CHANGE150 features 150 postcards curated by four young art students from Kochi. Bose Krishnamachari, president of the Kochi Biennale Foundation, said it was a matter of pride to showcase how the youth of India is getting inspired by the words of the Mahatma.
The simple postcards are now becoming a power tool of expression by the youth to celebrate the life and words of the Mahatma, said V K Raveendranadh, Assistant Director, Office of the Post Master General, India Post. Added Jubie John, co-Founder of LetterFarms: “CHANGE150 aims to breathe life into the iconic mantra of the Mahatma by our youth.”