When verbal battle turned fierce

VOICING OUT

The South India final of ‘Verbattle’ was quite fittingly held at the Bangalore Medical College. The atmosphere was grave and an outsider too could sense the tension that was playing out.

Eloquent : The winners of the ‘Verbattle’ South Finals.

It was after many school teams from Bangalore, Chennai, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Pondicherry had battled it out for weeks that a few fortunate ones got a chance to get their voices heard in the finals.

Verbattle, an anagram of the words ‘verbal’ and ‘battle’, is essentially a debate competition that was started out by media person Deepak Thimaya to enhance the overall learning experience of students and induce in them the confidence that public speaking brings.

What makes ‘Verbattle’ different from other inter-school debate competitions is the fact that the participants are given a minute to express their views in support or against the subject offered before the mic is passed on to the next team. This is supposed to sharpen the students’ senses and enable quick, clear thinking and collected speech patterns.

 ‘Verbattle’, which exists only in the Southern states for now, is aiming to go national soon. Soham, a student from Lady Andal School, Chennai said, “‘Verbattle’ has made me learn a lot. It is an experience I will go back and tell my friends about as I have been to ‘Verbattle’ and they have not”.

Three teams from the region, after a series of elimination rounds, had made it to the finals — ITI Central School, Bangalore; Chettinad Vidyashram, Chennai and Harsh Vidya Mandir, Chennai. The chief guest at the event was Shankar Bidari, Director General of Police, Karnataka who encouraged the students with his words and handed out the prizes towards the end. For each of the rounds that the students were put through over the evening, they were given a few minutes to prepare and a mentor was allowed to accompany them on stage.

The last round that involved the three finalists was an interesting round. Each of the teams was given a word that they were required to make a statement out of.

The winning team ITI Central School was given the word ‘education’ to which they responded saying ‘Classroom education was better than online education’.

It was through this last round and the fierce battle that preceeded it that the twin sisters Lakshmi Priya Kannan and Sneha Priya Kannan walked away with a cash prize of Rs one lakh.

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