TISA Pune Workshop – Day 1

Today we met in the well appointed conference hall of an IT firm at Hinjewadi Pune. In spite of all the running around and flurry of emails, we wondered if ten people will get together to watch a movie on stammering. We were sweetly surprised when about 20 people turned up- including three women. Stammering is a communication problem which affects about 1-2% population any where. Women are affected less often compared to men, in a ratio of 1 to 4. Pune self help group started under TISA aegis about an year ago. The Indian stammering association (TISA) started in April 2008 as a self help movement of Indian people who stammer (PWS). The today’s (4th July 2009) workshop was organised by Pune chapter of TISA to consolidate the gains so far, generate interest and awareness on an issue which affects academics, career choices and growth, relationships and other aspects of life.
We started with the screening of a movie – Unspeakable. Many participants related to the movie instantly as it brought back strong memories of difficulties faced as children, adolescents and now as adults. This Canadian documentary interweaves stories of men, women and children who stammer against the backdrop of an ongoing search for cause and cure for a baffling neurological disorder. The participants shared their feelings and reactions after the movie. This set the ball rolling and everyone was soon sharing personal stories of struggle, search for understanding and a determination to come on top of the problem. The organiser, a IT professional, shared : In trying to organise this event, I have done what I would never do: I went out on a limb, talked to strangers and even superiors – refused to take ‘no’ for an answer, took risks, made many phone calls- I feel I have gained in three days more than I would have gained in one whole year of speech therapy. I have changed deeply at the level of attitude and self-concept… Many of my colleagues were surprised: a workshop on Dandruff or Acne would be OK but a workshop on stammering?..Some people even inquired: what is stammering?
Dr Sachin from TISA discussed technical aspects of stammering. There were lot of questions and answers. There were some participants who did not stammer but had come to learn about it and help others. A video clip of an Interview of Ms Julia Irani was shared. Julia heads Pakistan stammering association. The group played interactive games as well as practiced some speech techniques. Finally the group realised that in spite of differences in their background, education and career they had remarkable similarities in life experiences because of their stammering. As stammering is a social disorder, the recovery too had to be a social process. They concluded with a decision to continue to help each other through the self help group and to continue to work on their communication, having accepted their stammer. We will meet tomorrow again.

2 Comments

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  1. admin 9 years ago

    Bravo guys!!!

    You are an inspiration for the rest of us.

    Nitin

  2. bhavin patel 4 years ago

    Can you tell me where is this center in pune?

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