This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Why Shakespeare Scared Away My Inner Poet, And How Instagram Brought It Back

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

By Ajay Jhawar:

featured_image_-_shakespeare_2It’s the way my education system is managing poetry and literature that’s hurting me. I am a growing poet and have noticed myself taking an interest in poetry, ratings, and articles since August last month. I regret that I couldn’t understand it when I was in class eight; I regret that it didn’t like it much back then.

But there is a question that resonated in my mind: How did I suddenly develop an interest in literature, so much that I chose to pen down articles and poems? The answer is not that I have changed. The answer is that I became addicted to reading small haikus on social media, followed by poems, articles, essays and short stories.

It makes sense; I was not interested in poems earlier because the ones I was made to read were above my maturity level. I couldn’t interpret those without the help of my teachers. You can’t be interested in something you don’t understand. But after I started reading simple stuff on the internet – things said simply with or without rhymes that connect with our daily lives – I was fascinated by the way these people penned my feelings, and that’s how I developed an interest in poems.

That’s the way it should have been in my school but, unfortunately, we were made to read the works of William Shakespeare before developing our mind for interpreting simple poems. Of course, that took away my interest. I guess it happened with many students who had the capability of becoming poets.

It’s clear that our education system needs to be reviewed. If the only Indian poet we know about is Rabindranath Tagore, we surely are in need of some more ideals and leaders from our own country. It’s not that we are lagging behind by a narrow margin. If we compare the population of India, we should be the ones to produce the largest number of poets, artists and the best of them. But sadly it’s not the case, the name ruling the internet these days is Christopher Poindexter, others are lagging far behind.

There are poets. Instagram is flooded with them but because of the lack of interest of our society in literature, they are struggling. Indian news tellers are hardly interested in publishing poems. Neither are we informed about any literature competitions. There aren’t even proper magazines dedicated to literature. It’s tough for poets to grow in this situation.

India needs some serious changes in the field of literature. We need leaders, new and alive, who can guide us. We need our media to help us. It won’t be a big deal to dedicate a page for literature if not daily then at least once in a week. And it won’t be a big deal for the Central government to start a magazine for artists, something India needs. The media needs to play its part in developing the interest of the common man in the arts. It isn’t just writers who are being neglected, it’s every form of art. Art is something that can’t thrive without a proper audience. We create to reach out to people. India is lagging behind in this field. It’s my kind request to the ones in positions of power to help us out, to help us grow.

You must be to comment.
  1. Pooja

    I completely agree with this …there are so many students who take engineering or medicine out of pressure and then end up doing photography or blogging. We need a syllabus that values creative stuff. There is so much creative talent in India.

  2. Ajay Jhawar

    I am studying to be an engineer…
    For me its like there isn’t any scope.
    There are pages on facebook, but they usually don’t prefer poetry.
    It just pains me..:(

  3. Indra

    I suggest you go google+. Poetic groups like “Hall of poets” (HOP) not only provide you a good friendly
    platform for reaching your works to thousands, but also you can get published in the e-zine of HOP,
    participate in the contests as well as get a good exposure to international poets.
    In Facebook, there is a great shift of genuine poets these days to a poetic non profit organisation called
    “The world union of poets” (“Unione Mondiale dei poeti”, based on Italy) where you can be a member and
    post as you wish in your country’s “gallery” (group) to get read by poets all over the world. It is a venture
    for world peace, and they do conduct amazing events. The group is just getting established; but it is
    the best place where you get recognised. The poets like “Ernesto Kahan” (recipient of Nobel peace 1985
    also president of International poet Congress), Silvano Bortolazzi (Three time Nobel nominee and Knight
    of Italy) are the leaders. You shall meet amazing poets there; and you can also join them in conducting
    online poetry events.
    “Hall of poets” is also present in Facebook; and the whole group is just wonderful with people loving poetry.
    And it will be relatively more easier and fit for you to join HOP as a member, post your poems there, receive
    feedback and read others as well as get published in their magazine.

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By swonshutaa dash

By Hariaksh Kamal

By Shalok Singh Wason

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below