Published: 26th April 2021
These Class 10 students from Gurugram started their own e-newsletter to spread positivity during the pandemic
From conceptualising the theme, deciding on topics, researching for the articles, and even editing each other's articles, these teens do it all by themselves
If we thought 2020 was a grim year, we were all gravely mistaken. There seems to be no end to devastating, heart-breaking, scary news of fatalities caused by the Coronavirus, lack of hospital beds, cases going up each day, and much more.
To turn the tide, three Class 10 students from Shiv Nadar School, Gurugram decided to launch their own e-newsletter to bring positive and good news meant for people of all age groups. Abimanyu and Agastya, who are siblings, and their classmate Mihir Rao started the Paperless Press in July 2020 hoping to bring in just positive vibes during these testing times.
The trio has already published almost 40 newsletters so far and has no plans to pause. From deciding on the theme, nailing down topics, doing the research for the articles, and even editing, these teens do it all by themselves. "It was the peak of the pandemic at that time and the only thing we saw around was negative news about how many COVID cases are there, no hospital beds, etc. We were very disturbed by this and realised the world needs more positive news. We began writing positive news and published our first edition in July," recalls Abhimanyu. All three friends told us that they love reading and have been reading newsletters, newspapers since their childhood, which led them to pick up these skills.
Speaking about how they got together to start the Paperless Press, Mihir adds, "We have been friends for the past five years and all three of us are aware of our writing skills, what we like and we bond over numerous things. So, we knew the three of us would make a good team. While writing the articles, I like to gather the main points first and then put them in a specific structure. Abhimanyu and Agastya mostly write their personal experiences and what comes to their mind. We edit each other's articles, we suggest changes, add and subtract stuff, we sometimes also ask our parents for help." Agastya quickly adds to that saying, "We not only write the articles on positive news but also create our own version of what a positive world should look like."
The Paperless Press newsletters cover a whole lot of genres — general affairs, science, space, holidays, art, life skills, and things that teens are interested in or should know about. Abhimanyu shares that he had written something on the five lessons of democracy taking a cue from the Capitol Hill riots that happened in America last year, while Mihir wrote on the little things in your life that make you happy.
Their first article was written by Abhimanyu on ways you can engage yourself at home to avoid the temptation of stepping outdoors. Following that, Mihir wrote about the future of gaming and how in the pandemic it has become an integral way of entertaining ourselves, while Agastya wrote about the stress on students in 2020 and how online learning made them sit in front of the screen more.
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The three friends try their best to keep the articles as in-depth as possible without spending too much time on them. They spend around four hours from Friday and the weekend working on their articles and then publish them. "We enjoy writing them - it's no extra work for us. We do most of our research on the internet and read a lot of books. We typically publish on Sundays, finish work from Friday. However, sometimes we change the timeline depending on the relevance of the topics," shares Mihir. Adding how they created the website, Abhimanyu explains, "We had first made it on google sites and then created one on Wix, which is much easier to access and user-friendly." The trio has also started making videos to make their website more interactive.
Finally, the young writers provide a few valuable tips for children like them to wish to do something on their own and write:
Mihir's two cents: Be expressive and write what interests you
Abhimanyu's two cents: Follow what you feel and do what you want, don't pay heed to people trying to pull you down
Agastya's two cents: Get feedback that helps in improving your writing