The first meeting of the Bangalore SHG was held on 13-Sep-2009 at Cubbon Park. The meeting was coordinated by A and he had asked all of us to come to the Library building at 11 AM. I started from home at Marathahalli at 10 AM and reached there by 10.30 AM. Usually it takes one hour from my place to Cubbon Park, but since it was a Sunday, the traffic was less and I reached there in half an hour By sharp 11 AM A reached the building and K was waiting there. I went to meet A and he introduced me to K. K is the person who is running the Bangalore stammering group in Orkut. After some time, one more person named K joined us making it Double K or K square, whatever you wish to call. This new K is a business man and is running an advertisement company of his own. It was really a good thing to know as normally stammerers or at least I, shy away from entrepreneurship. After some time we were joined by P and S. N who was supposed to join us was getting late and we decided to move to a corner where we could meet comfortably. We reached a corner of the Park where there was a small hut, but it was occupied by somebody who was sleeping there. We decided to occupy the place close to the hut and sat on the ground. We started by introducing ourselves and by that time K-1 got a call and he went to bring N. By the time they came back a few of us had completed the self introduction and we had to repeat the same for them. Since it was the first meeting, the self introduction took a long time and most of the time was spent understanding each other. It was pointed out by N that the treatment in Nimhans, Bangalore is free of cost. He was attending treatment there and he told he would be able to help us in getting an appointment there, if anybody was interested. He told he acquired this habit when he was in seventh standard and that he was a good speaker and an actor before that. Even now he speaks very fluently and it was very difficult to identify his stammering. It was told by K-2 that since he was running a company of his own it was necessary for him to make a lot of phone calls and market his services. The necessity has removed the fears and he stammers very less due to that. The same point was corroborated by A when he told one of his cousins also could overcome the issue to a great extend by taking up a sales job. He was a severe stammerer and he had to take up a job of selling credit cards as the entire family was dependent upon him. He gained confidence gradually and now is in a senior post. He stammers only very occasionally nowadays. It seems taking up jobs which are dreaded by us really helps in reducing the issue. By 12 noon K-2 left for his drama rehearsal. He told, it gave him immense satisfaction becoming somebody else on the stage and that he didn’t usually stammer on stage. N was interested in knowing the details of the drama as he was also an actor. It was decided to have the meeting every Sunday at 10 AM at the same venue (Cubbon Park). We dispersed by 1 PM after playing the game of telling words aloud based on the last letter of the word spoken by the previous person, something like Anthakshari. It was decided to share the experiences of different therapies and practice some of the techniques in the next meeting. We may also do some public speaking practice by asking each person to talk about any subject of interest for 5 to 10 minutes. It was also decided to bring some people who have overcome their stammering to share their experiences.
Editor: To be on safe side, we have suppressed the names in the above report. If the group lets us know otherwise, we will keep their wishes in mind. The group should also give a contact email and phone number (preferably of the group coordinator) so that other IPWS can get in touch with them.