1. Since these events are primarily meant to promote self-help and to provide a platform to people who stammer, at no time, should the stage be allowed to be used by other organisations (Vipassna, Toastmaster etc.) — or normal speakers, unless they have been formally invited as a guest/ technical expert. Some example of these exceptions could be like- a social activist working with blind children, a sociologist who wants to talk about discrimination and stigma, an AIDS survivor, a media person or an industry expert who may want to discuss recruitment scene etc. But even these exceptions should not outnumber PWS presentations. Similarly yoga. dance/martial art session etc., should be lead by a pws participant, instead of inviting an outside expert. So, to emphasize again, TISA platform is primarily to promote self-help and people who stammer.
Mini Case studies: a pws, who had attended toast master, was given an opportunity to talk about his experiences in a TISA event. Instead, he sat in the audience and ‘outsourced’ it to TM experts, who presented a long session about their products and services; On another occasion, a Vipassna expert, similarly, came and conducted a long session in an NC. Audience got bored. A better use of this long session would have been: 3-4 pws sharing THEIR reactions and feedback to Vipassna or to a toastmaster session. PWS rarely get chances to speak in public and if that unfortunate trend were to continue even in TISA events, what unique service are we offering? On the other hand renowned organizations like TM and Vipassna certainly require no promotion from us.
2. No speech therapy, commercial alternative methods or cure claims should be promoted by participating speakers, unless otherwise the speaker has tried and tested the method for at least 6 months with a consistent and persistent result. In such cases also, the speaker (or the facilitator) should ascertain that this is purely a personal experience and by no means a universal method for dealing with stammering.
3. Content for NC: Different SHGs/ cities can submit their ideas for presentations, role plays etc. in advance and if approved, they can present it through their pws members. Even if we are short of ideas, it is better to REPEAT tried and trusted ideas- like role play, stammering interviews, stranger talk, group technique practice, Open Mic sessions etc. as long as they provide more chances to new comers. We dont have to dazzle the world with innovation and creativity in every NC! We have to, rather, provide more and more chances to pws, to come to stage, talk, sing, dance or act. So far, in our experience, these activities have been very popular and useful from the perspective of a young pws visiting NC for the first time.
4. Priority should always be given to those pws who have been in regular touch with TISA or with a TISA SHG/ mooc/ hangout etc. A new pws who joins at the last minute and wants to give a 30 minute presentation should receive lower priority – and should be asked to listen to others. New comers, young pws should receive priority over old / fluent TISA members or seniors.
5. Registrations should be opened only 2-3 months before the NC. We may of course plan and prepare well in advance. But Since people can not plan very well 9 months in advance, it is better that we open registrations only 2-3 months before. So, for example, October 1st week NC may be announced on website by 1st June and registrations may begin by 1st August or so.
6. Sponsorships/Scholarships should be granted to people in genuine need only. To ensure this, the applicants may be interviewed based on the following guidelines:
Preference to: Students / First-timers. People who have availed TISA scholarships previously will be considered subject to funds available in surplus after awarding scholarships to selected deserving candidates.
– What is the candidate’s current occupation?
– If a student, what is the father’s occupation?
– Has the applicant attended local SHGs?
– Has the applicant previously attended any TISA event or participated in any TISA online hangout/MOOC? If yes/no, why?
What is the purpose of the applicant for attending the NC/Workshop?
7. Offering fancy services or venue should never be our priority, because that will increase the cost. Our primary audience remains to be the pws students, job seekers or pws in junior positions- who cant afford to pay much.
8. Bhopal NC has used paperless transactions efficiently (paytm etc.). They have issued e-certificates, in response to online feedback. These Eco-friendly innovations should be encouraged.
9. Accounts should be submitted/ shared online in 2-3 weeks post NC. Balance money, often little, should be donated to TISA for other activities.
10. Local language should be given priority- so that largest number of people can participate. Other languages (Hindi, English) should be accommodated wherever relevant and possible.
11. A lot of hard work starts after NC: the organizers should plan and conduct follow up activities AFTER the NC: share participant videos, organise hangouts etc. Formal feedback ideally should be collected after about two weeks and should be discussed with National Coordinator.
12. We must promote and maintain a women and child-friendly atmosphere in the NC at all times; It means an atmosphere of mutual respect, discipline and courtesy. NC should also promote healthy lifestyles and therefore discourage the use of tobacco, alcohol, etc. on the venue.
(By Satyendra and Harish, in consultation with core team and SHGs.)