Helping children master the ‘write’ way

Helping children master the ‘write’ way
PERFECT STROKES: A woman guides her daughter in using the ‘Handwriting Improvement Slate,’ at the Tirupati Book Festival in Tirupati

New tool to improve handwriting introduced at Tirupati Book Festival

Handwriting is perceived in different ways by different people. Some think of it as an ancient art form, some feel it to be something personal, while some take it for granted. Whatever might be the perception, good handwriting is what many people struggle to master. Mahatma Gandhi in his autobiography, ‘My experiments with truth’, also lamented about his bad handwriting and urged youngsters to consider it as a necessary part of education.

Drawing a parallel to this thought, Sangaraju Bhaskara Raju of Tirupati, for more than a decade has been devising instruments to help master the craft of writing. He made his initial foray with a digital device called Handwriting Improvement (HaI) slate, which can be hooked up to a personal computer and the handwriting would be captured by the strokes made by a stylus on touch pad.

Later, he moved on to acrylic and ceramic practice books, which had alphabets etched on the surface and would enable children in improving their writing by constant practice. “Ceramic tiles were preferred by many schools as its dimensions of 1.5 ft X 1 ft allowed the students to practice regularly and they could be incorporated on the walls,” said Mr.Raju.

To step down the affordability quotient of earlier devices, the concept was replicated on traditional slates to cater to the needs of semi-urban and rural folk at the ongoing 8th Tirupati Book Festival at SV High School grounds. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr.Raju said that the new device would have the same features barring a direction guide. “Children can practice with either slate or colour pencils and the grooves will ensure that they stay in the right direction and prevent straying away from the path,” he said.

Mr.Raju has nine records for his inventions along with pending patents. The slates are available in English, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada. To reduce the cost further Mr.Raju is working out a new form of slate made by hardened plastic, targeted for the village level. He can be reached at 88868 00091.

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