I came across Partha Bagchi’s Stammering Cure Centre in the year 1998, when he advertised on a newspaper in Goa. The advertisement showed a lot of promise, and claimed to be the only centre which can cure stammering in two weeks. My parents planned a visit to the centre. When I visited him for the first time, I was really impressed about the way he talked. He was speaking really slow and didn’t show any trace of stammering. When he told us he was a severe stammerer for 26 years, I was even more impressed. I thought if he can speak like that with his techniques, then his techniques have to be effective! He insisted I should join the 15-day crash course, but then I had to opt for a correspondence course because of my college schedules. I practiced his exercises. A few times I was fluent. But then suddenly one single block was enough for the stammering to return. At this moment, I thought a regular course would be a solution to my problems. Then he held a camp in Goa, where he held his regular course for locals. I attended that course. It was a good experience, with some useful techniques like- Speaking in front of the mirror, speaking in front of the crowd on a microphone, meditation etc. I was 100% fluent during the entire 15 days in those ‘clinical’ conditions. Even a few days after that, I managed to speak slow and maintain fluency. I continued practice. One fine day, I had a bad speaking experience which triggered a relapse. I practiced his techniques for 6 months religiously. Then the roller-coaster ride started of fluent days and not-so-fluent days. I began to blame myself for not being able to do the practice dedicatedly, and thought that I lacked the will power to achieve fluency. In the meanwhile, Partha Bagchi continued to be a role-model, and I always looked up to him as he always gave me a hope that if he can overcome his stammer, so can I. I joined TISA in 2009, and despite knowing the fact that Partha Bagchi was not in the good books of TISA school of thoughts, he remained to be a role model, because of the way he has managed to gain control over his stammering. My opinion about my role model changed because of a few reasons. I read quiet a lot about many other such ‘Cure-centres’ in India as well as other countries. I also read that there was no known cure for stammering. This is the biggest point of objection, which even holds true with Mr. Bagchi’s SCC- the use of the word ‘cure’. What these centres offer are techniques which help us deal with our stammering, techniques which facilitates control over our speech impediment and ways of managing to communicate WITH our stammer. And this is not CURE and should not be sold as CURE. Because the word cure is so tempting to PWS (I am included) that we are ready to shelve any amount of money to find it! Another thing that was shocking about Mr. Bagchi was the fact that he refused to reply to his students who asked his help when they were unable to put his techniques to practice. I had held a great respect for Mr. Bagchi and I believed that he has a motive in his life of helping the PWS. But if he refuses to reply to his students seeking help after failing the course, then it’s not really a help. Because like me, all these PWS will continue to idolize him and victimize themselves for not having tried enough thus trapping themselves into the bog of guilt. I still maintain Mr. Bagchi’s techniques are good and quite helpful, but they don’t cure stammering. I have no problem if Mr. Bagchi charges fees for his crash course. But how does he justify the cost of Rs. 10,000? He will be a role model again if he is open to discussion with self help organisations like TISA, professional speech therapists or any other certifying authority. He will be a role model again if he admits that the use of the word cure is not appropriate and changes the name of his centre to – “Stammering Management Centre”.
- Saturday August 18th 2018“It’s the rough side of the mountain that’s the easiest to climb; the smooth side doesn’t have anything for you to hang on to. ~ Aretha Franklin Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American … more
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