Yesterday (5th May), Amanunddin, Vineet and myself, drove off to Dehradun like busy salesmen. We gave a session on stammering to a group of Canadian students at Samagra. To help us, three young PWS joined from Dehradun itself. We showed the group some video clips, interspersed with informal question & answer sessions. Next, the Canadian group developed a list of questions for group discussion: questions to elicit & understand the experience of stammering at various stages in life: childhood, class room, during play, when teased etc.
Then, we had some role plays: how to maintain ‘normal’ eye contact, listen actively & patiently, and keep calm & relaxed, when talking to a PWS. It gave a chance to our self help group members to practice Voluntary stuttering. Many people find it very mysterious- how can voluntary stuttering help a PWS? But those few PWS who take the courage to practice it, understand the paradox: “Loha lohe ko katata hai” (Use a thorn to remove a thorn!).
At the end, we watched a funny video- Art of Stuttering. This video was suggested to sachin by Hetal, a PWS friend. It takes time, but when a PWS is able to laugh at his problems, true and final recovery begins to take place. Capacity to laugh at one’s own fancies and foibles, at one’s own self- is a sign of maturity. But, yes, it is tough; needs lot of courage and honesty. We dispersed after lunch. The Canadian group is here doing an appreciative inquiry course on health and other cross-cultural issues.