Published: 01st September 2021
When Telangana teachers took centre stage to showcase their skills for their own emotional well-being
Due to the combined effort of Delhi-based Blue Orb and the Government of Telangana, Saathi, a three-month virtual programme for the emotional well-being of teachers, was conducted
Teachers have always gone above and beyond the call of duty and during COVID too, they've extended their full support. But we tend to forget that not meeting students and interactions that are restricted to online alone are taking a toll on them too. That's when Blue Orb joined hands with the Government of Telangana to extend a helping hand and serve as a friend to our gurus. This New Delhi-based foundation has already been working in the realm of emotional well-being for students and in Telangana, specifically, since 2019. So this time, they decided to shift their focus to teachers through Saathi.
The average number of attendees per session were 120-130 and the total number of facilitators during the session were 76. From across all the districts of Telangana, they received 1,600 registrations
For three months, starting from May 8, teachers gathered on Zoom at 11 am sharp every day to share the artforms they have mastered and in this way, a journey of camaraderie and companionship began. The State Monitoring Officer, Assistant State Project Director and District Officer, however, had one request. "They did not want to make this compulsory for teachers because then it would become an imposition. This was conducted purely for their emotional well-being and to help them relax and have a good time while at it," shares Deepak Reddy, State Lead at Blue Orb. And their will was done! Plus, Blue Orb opened up the event to both government and private schools and requested them to join only if they were interested. A Google Form was circulated and teachers were asked to register under three different categories — Telangana folk arts, instruments and singing, and literary arts.
Each day, about four teachers shared their talent and the schedule was set and shared accordingly via a WhatsApp group. Naturally, we gravitated towards the Telangana folk arts category and asked the 27-year-old all about it. He happily obliged. Oggu Katha by Dantala Sudhakar Rao from MPPS Chennur, Khammam, was particularly delightful, we hear. Apart from this, what particularly fascinated Deepak was nail art by S Bhagyalakshmi from MPPS Puttapalli, Peddapalli. "I didn't even know such an artform existed," shares the youngster who has undertaken the Gandhi Fellowship in the past. Mirror writing was another artform that caught his attention. "What this really did was give teachers the confidence to come forward and share their knowledge, while other teachers had the chance to learn and enjoy. Since the presentations were different every day, it kept the momentum going," he points out.
Deepak Reddy | (Pic: Blue Orb)
Every Saturday, external speakers were invited to boost the morale of the teachers even further. Retired Sanskrit lecturer Dr MT Alwar spoke on Guru Purnima and in another instance, a session called Collective Rhythm For Emotional Well-Being was conducted by Swapath Yatri, where teachers were requested to get plastic stools or buckets and play along. Saathi's sessions came to an end just two weeks ago and as per the feedback received, it has really helped the participants with a space of their own where they can share, learn and listen at will. "They got to appreciate each other's skills, to perform on their own and take back many memorable instances," says Deepak who is based out of Hyderabad. The sessions might have concluded but his work with students and teachers continues.
The teachers during a session
Signs of an emotional well person
- Self-aware and is able to manoeuvre both distress and delight well
- Self-acceptance is key as being aware and accepting oneself as you are is important
- Self-compassion is when you sympathise with yourself and indulge in self-care
- Emotional agility allows people to be curious and yet bounce back from fallbacks
For more check out blueorbfoundation.com