Braving Cerebral Palsy & Poverty, Telangana Poet Penned 550+ Poems With Her Toes

Sayantani Nath


Image Credits: Chai Bisket, Telangana Today

In fifteen years, she has composed over 550 poems spanning a wide range of emotions and themes. The extraordinary part? She wrote these poems with a pen tucked between her toes. Bora Rajeshwari from Telangana, popular by her pen name Sircilla Rajeshwari, is perhaps one of the very few differently-abled poets the country has been blessed with. Her astounding penmanship and an indomitable zeal help the 38-year-old Telugu poet surpass any obstacle that comes her way.

She has a book to her name

Rajeshwari, who hails from Rajanna Sircilla in Telangana already has a published book to her credit, comprising an anthology of her best poetic works, titled ‘Sircilla Rajeshwari Kavithalu’. As shared by Women’s Web, the first poem of her book captures the perfect essence of her feelings:

Differently-Abled Poet Rajeshwari
The initiative for publishing her works was taken up by popular Telugu lyricist Suddala Ashok Teja. It did not take long for the veteran expert to recognise Rajeshwari’s talent and he compiled her work into the book, funded by Suddala Foundation. She later received a Rs 10 lakh financial aid from the Telangana government, which generates a monthly income for her, reports Telangana Today.

Toes that weave magic

Bora Rajeshwari was born with cerebral palsy in a family of weavers, the youngest of five siblings. Both her parents are workers at the local power loom. Despite financial constraints, they never compromised on Rajeshwari’s education, who studied till 7th Standard in a government school and later completed matriculation through correspondence. Both her hands are non-responsive, but that has never stopped her from achieving her dreams.

In childhood, her mother assisted her in daily tasks like brushing, combing or eating. But soon, she learnt to use her toes for all these. At the age of six, she picked up the pen with her toes and has not stopped ever since.

Suicides among farmers and weavers affected her

Rajeshwari has been writing poems since 1999, around the age of 18. “My poetry connects me with the world. I overcame my physical challenges and started to write from 1999 with my toes,” she shares with Telangana Today.

Her penchant for poetry sprouted from the discussions her family used to have over dinner. Their discussions mainly centred around recurring suicides among farmers and weavers of the area, as well as the rebellion for the new state of Telangana. Rajeshwari was deeply affected by the happenings, which is when her poems were born. With the help of a teacher, she got in touch with a Telugu daily and regularly wrote columns for them on the rising trend of suicides.  

Reading constitutes her favourite hobby, while the news on the television often forms subjects for her profound poems. Her family admits that her health has worsened over the last few years. She still experiences pain to speak for long; so she rather chooses to express her thoughts through words and prosody.

Also Read: Even After 163 Years, An Indian Woman’s French & English Poetry Is Celebrated Worldwide

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