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Side effects of technology: Baramulla teacher starts self-funded calligraphy institute to improve students’ handwriting

Baramulla:  Worried about poor handwriting of students, a 28- year- old teacher in Baramulla district has embarked on a journey to teach calligraphy to the children and offset the side effects of the technology.

Malik Mukhtar, a self-taught calligraphy artist from Mamoosa- Pattan, has started a self-funded institute to popularize the art in Kashmir.

 

“The art of Arabic and Urdu calligraphy got popular during the lockdown. Still, I felt that there are very few people who know the art very well. The aim of starting this institute is to improve children’s handwriting and train them in calligraphy,” he said.

A postgraduate in Urdu, Mukhtar said he was surprised to witness weak handwriting among his students.

“I have been teaching students. I noticed that majority of them have very weak handwriting. It is primarily that notebooks and laptops have replaced wooden slates used by our elders,” he said.

Mukhtar said his two-month-long calligraphy course will focus on improving the handwriting of his students.

“I established my coaching institute in Pattan. Now I am starting another institute in the Mirgund area of the Baramulla district.  I will conduct an hour-long class for my students with a focus on pronunciation and writing Urdu, Arabic, and English,” he said.

Mukhtar said his initiative is getting a good response from students and parents. “It is my second day of teaching calligraphy in Pattan and I am getting calls from many students. Besides I have been getting calls from parents who want me to teach their children,” he said.

Mukhtar said he is a self-taught calligraphy artist who trained many of his fellow students and teachers during his college and university days.

“Professionally, I started calligraphy in 2011 when I joined the college. My teachers were impressed by my handwriting and during my Bachelors I would teach other fellow classmates. Even during post-graduation, I taught many scholars in Kashmir University,” he said.