An English teacher from a state model school and junior college in Nizamabad district of Telangana has motivated some of his students to write poetry, which has now been published as a book titled Blooming Birds. P Chandrashekhar, who teaches English from Class VI to Intermediate, urged students to study English extensively and encouraged them to write short stories and poems in the language.
Chandrashekhar’s methods also included encouraging students to focus on literary activities such as reading and writing and helping them to develop their vocabulary. He also worked on their communication, imagination and creative skills.
These efforts began when the students were in class VII. By the time they reached Class IX, a few students in the 2018-19 academic year began to take an interest in writing poetry in English. Encouraged by their teacher, they wrote poetry on various subjects in free verse. Some of these poems have also been published in various national and international magazines, claims Chandrashekhar.
For the book, 72 poems inked by 24 students were selected. However, the COVID pandemic has put a damper on their plans to complete the book printing process. It finally came to light at a launch event in Nizamabad where district MLC, K Kavitha and collector, C Narayana Reddy released the book.
So what has become of these young poets? Well, they each went their chosen paths. While a few are pursuing their intermediate in the same institution, a few others have joined the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in Hyderabad. Others continued to pursue literature in various capacities.
For their mentor, Chandrashekhar, the goal is to remove fear of the English language from the hearts of his students, many of whom come from rural backgrounds. Chandrashekhar has co-authored a book titled General Mains: English Language and Literature, published by Telugu Academy and has his own collection of poetry in his name, titled Exquisite Ecstasy. He also talks about various state-level poetry contests his students have entered and are said to have won accolades.