TOPG began in 2020. It was based on MOOC, which started much earlier- in 2017. In fact, it was operationalisation of MOOC. Not many pws had the motivation to complete MOOC on their own. They will join, do couple of core tasks, then lose the motivation and forget all about it!
Therefore TOPG was started, so that they could finish it in two weeks time, in a group, with lot of fun and interaction with faculty. Interestingly, “faculty”came out of the old students- those who had completed TOPG, felt good about it and wanted to volunteer; They were given some hands on training and inducted as faculty. Soon, they had developed good understanding of content and methodology: essentially they had to learn how to coach, inspire, challenge, problem solve, engage, give feedback to- people just like them. Suraj Rajpurohit is one such volunteer who has coordinated three TOPG sessions successfully. Here is his valuable feedback, in the form of Q&A:
- TOPG stands for tisa online practice group. So the name itself indicates, This program is for practice and practice and MORE practice…
- The highlight of TOPG is, it not only teaches about techniques but also makes participants practice them so that they get a grip over those techniques and they can use them in day today life.
- Another unique feature of topg is, it provides lots of new resources like new research papers or youtube link from where participants can learn new things.
- TOPG also tries to change the mindset and perception of participants towards stammering through its daily hangouts- like acceptance, positivity (self concept).
- TOPG starts with basic activities and as we move on, the level of toughness increases. It gives new challenges so that participants can evolve and come out of their comfort zone. The faculty keeps checks on their home work by watching and giving feedback on their videos that keep participants on track and also motivate them.
- The thing I like most about TOPG and TISA is it’s FREE. It is by the stammerers, for the stammerers. It saves the huge amount of money which anyone has to pay if it is going for speech therapy.
- Also speech therapists can’t provide a platform to daily practice our speech in different ways- TISA and TOPG does that.
- Working on the psychological aspect of stammering is very important in the long run which many speech therapists ignore. TOPG works on that.
- And the last important thing I like most about topg is helping those who are in need. Being a stammerer I know what pain they are going through as I remember my days when I used to cry whole night because of stammering. Helping others gives immense satisfaction and happiness to me. Nobody Understood or helped me in my dark days of stammering, If I’m able to help even a single person when he/she needs most, I will consider myself lucky and worth living.
- I think it is very important to balance everything, we have to balance our professional work and personal life along with volunteering for TOPG. So it’s a challenge to do everything together.
- Sometimes participants leave the group in between or they become inactive.
- Sometimes participants refuse to adopt techniques in spite of trying so hard to convince them to use techniques
- Most important constraint I believe is that many participants after completing their TOPG, they no longer practice and they come to square one again..
- For Time management I allocated time for each category, I have fixed that maximum 2 hours i can give to tisa/topg and that will balance everything.
- I try to call participants to motivate them, Sometimes they become active again, and sometimes they leave the group.
- I’m sincere in my voluntering to TOPG. I feel if some task is given to me then its my responsibility to complete it. I’m consistent and I try to bring changes to program as and when needed.
- As a student i learnt techniques, I came to know the psychology behind stammering and that helped me alot.
- As a faculty i discovered the new dimensions of stammering, I started observing and understanding it very closly, i started thinking about emotions and feeling related to stammering,
- Being faculty gave me chance not only to improve the communication skill but also give chance to evolve and develop my overall personality.
TISA and Sachin sincerely thank Suraj!