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Friday, 1 February, 2002, 14:39 GMT
Indian romantics to revive love letters

A group of Indian romantics in Calcutta is to hold a global love-letter writing contest on Valentine's Day, February 14th, in an attempt to revive what it regards as the dying practice of sending letters to someone dear.

The group called LOVE, Lovers' Organisation for Voluntary Exhibition, wants to counter the growing trend of lovers communicating by short text-messages over mobile phones.

The group's president Rupak Manush says a message sent over a cellphone can never replace a nicely-written letter, which a person can cherish for life.

The letters will be judged by a jury headed by the poet and writer, Sunil Gangopadhyay, one of India's most popular contemporary authors.

The LOVE group has also been campaigning for the legal recognition of love letters written during courtship, and last year found fame when it campaigned for the setting up of love zones for courting couples.

It complained that there were not enough areas in Calcutta for couples to enjoy each other's company in peace, without being disturbed by prying policemen and passers-by.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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