Sunday, September 27, 2009

Motivations- how to keep it high?

Today the self help group met at Mrs Jain's place. The group discussed what many of them had seen on star plus channel of TV last night. If Rithik can practice one hour in spite of his busy shooting schedule, how many hours should we be putting in? Why dont we, then? Why does motivation peters out after some time? Another topic which came up for discussion was: are we just learning speech techniques in the safety of the group only? Are we practicing them in the real outside world? It was quite useful for the facilitators (Parmanand and JP) to plan future strategy. Next meeting will be conducted in the meeting hall of Anugrah Intervention center, where we will have many other people in the waiting room and others- to practice speech goals with.

Samagra will be starting a new center in Dehradun soon- by end of the October 2009. Country kids would be going to the city to play national league soon!- this is how someone in Samagra painted the upcoming event!

(Sorry about the picture quality: combination of indoors and a cheapo cellphone camera!)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Atlast things are working!

With an IT professional being around, IT problems seem to multiply! No, actually, we just become more aware of them and also solution seems so close at hand! For example- there is this big issue of compatibility of various formats. Sachin had taken some video clips - which could not be played for those reasons - and so for long time he had no clue what these were all about. Now thanks to JP his laptop is able to play these clips- and going through this old collection he found the following two: one is about an extempore puppet play by SIHI 2009 students and the other is about Kids with special needs watching a National Geographic video in Samagra. Enjoy..

Old friends

Pawan was one of the first volunteers of Samagra. He left about 9 months ago to become a Physics lecturer in a local college. Can stammerers become a good lecturer? Pawan is a good example that it can be done- albeit with some hard work. He always prepares his lessons well in advance. He makes sure that students have understood him- by getting feedback in different ways from a cross section of class. And above all, by being patient and available. Once he confided that teaching young children at home, at times totally free, helped him to regain better control over his speech.
He still visits us and whenever he has time he coaches one of our kids- as above.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

PWS- people who support- a fresh perspective !

Savita is a social worker based in Pune. Once a week she writes a quality post on her blog (Times Change), which goes beyond her immediate world, her work in the voluntary sector. It discusses many issues which we may feel but may never talk about. It is also a thoughtful reflection on life and little lessons scattered all around- which we rarely have time to pick up and look over. This time she describes her participation in a Pune SHG meeting. It is the best 'take' on stammering from a non-stammerer so far. Plesae check it out- and dont forget to comment!

Id Mubaraq

Vijay is on leave (has gone to Banaras) and JP has gone to his home (Chandigarh) for a brief visit. We decided not to phone anyone and just see who arrives for the Sunday meeting on their own. We were pleasantly surprised when five youngmen arrived right on time. Mrs Jain too came. Sachin too came coughing and spluttering (has been under the weather a little bit recently). Parmanand of cousre was the organiser. Anil too was there. All told, about nine people.
We watched "Speaking of courage"; discussed the high points. An important issue that came up was- lack of support from parents for their CWS (children who stutter). What could be done? It was obvious that we had to do more sharing of our problems at home. Next, everyone had to do an extempore act- telling jokes or singing a song etc- which earned them a sweetmeat (to celebrate Id, which is tomorrow).
Then we sat in silence for sometime, trying to observe our thoughts. Finally we discussed what could be done about the negative emotions, memories buried deep in our sub-conscious mind. It was understood that sharing with some one we trust or writing it down were the two most practical ways avaialble to most of us. Sachin talked about a PWS in USA who started a trend of writing "shame stories" to facilitate this very process of healing and self help.
Next, sachin mentioned that Samagra will be starting operations in Dehradun soon. By December, the group should decide upon an alternative venue for the Sunday meetings. The alternatives were: 1. We could request Anugrah to let us use their hall every Sunday for about two hours. 2. We could use sachin's back verandah 3. We could use Eton Bagh panchayat ghar 4. We could use PWS member's home on a rotation basis. Mrs Jain too offered her premises. We will be meeting next Sunday at her premises. About 7 pm, we all dispersed.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Johnson School, Herbertpur

This a group of children- twelve- studying in Johnson school. We had our first session today. Sachin asked them if they wanted to hear a story. He shared a little story of a little boy who not only wanted to solve his own problem of tangled tongue but wanted to help other children too. Then, we had a session of story telling: it was very obvious that some older children had lost the ancient art of letting themselves go in imagination.. They had trouble thinking what would a dog do if he met a mouse! Anyway, we carried on and made sure that everyone had fun. Then, we introduced the basic concept of prolonging the initial sound of a word on the go. Then, a little bouncing too. Finally we concluded with an activity of making paper toys (see the picture).

Two-way Hybrid SUV !

Intermediate Technology Group

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A journey

J has visited us twice so far. She is a class ten student in a local school. She is intelligent, fluent and with good social skills. So- yes, I too asked- so, what is the problem? Few days back, she stumbled on a word in class, while answering teacher and the students (it is co-ed) twittered. This is the age when a pimple can cause you intense inner suffering and anxiety. No amount of being told that it would go away, helps.
She did not stammer at all in these two meetings. But when I asked her to bounce- which a child half her age would do in a trice- she failed to do it. Why? because she has a lot of subconscious fear and hatred for any disfluency. No wonder, when she does stammer (even if it happens occasionally) she is filled with intense self-loathing and embarrassment. So much so, that she would forget rest of her line and go quiet. It would produce intense guilt (how could I mess it up?), anxiety (I Wonder What does teacher/ others think of me now?) and shame (Cant even say two words together..). Over a few days, it becomes a rolled ball of emotions which sinks deep in her subconscious and her memories. This is how a life long pattern is born.
But God willing she will start a reverse process under her own steam. Why I say that? because she has taken the initiative on her own; has asked deep questions; is intelligent, does her home work; and because she has not given up her dream of becoming a lawyer... I hope her family and her class mates and teachers dont fail her.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Two days in Delhi

Sachin and myself were in Delhi to join Delhi SHG for their weekly meet and also to talk to some NGOs to find an indoor meeting place for the weekly meets. On day 1, Nitin came to pick up us, at Nizamuddin station. From there, Nitin, Sachin and me headed to the office of one of the NGOs and we had a nice and fruitful discussion and are hopeful that the place will be available to Delhi SHG from october 2009 onwards.Later Deepak also joined us. We are also looking forward to talk to a few hospitals who have speech pathology department where Delhi SHG can meet once in a month and interact with budding speech pathologists and also the clients at the hospital will get benefited by attending the meetings. From there we headed to Nitin's house and after a great and delicious lunch, we watched the movie "Unspeakable". We also video recorded each other to analyse our speech and also seconday behaviours.
Next day we met at Akshardham temple and started with puppet show with me, Sachin, Nitin and Kishore.Puppets are great way of practicing our speech goals, take out our hidden emotions
and at the same time have fun. As soon as everybody joined us, we started with introductions
by dividing ourselves into groups of two each by playing a game and then talked to each
other in our group for 5 minutes, at the end of which introduced our partners. The idea was
to focus on and test our listening skills. Then we practiced bouncing for some time, where
we created an impromptu story with lots of interesting turns and twists. Next came the
stuttering interviews and self disclosures. We went and interviewed a few people in groups of
two regarding : what they know about stammering? what it is? its causes? and also what they
can do to help people who stammer. All of us had very interesting discussions. After debriefing, we moved on to next activity - "role play" where we enacted a scene of a SHG meet and tried to bring out hidden (if any) emotions and thoughts of the members . Sachin and me spent some more time at the temple, took some pictures and the moved on with Anuj to CP, to meet one more PWS, Mr. A .Me and Anuj went to some shops and practiced self dilosure and bouncing for some time while Sachin intercted with Mr. A. From there on our way back to Nizzamudin station to catch our train, me and Anujj shouted in a running metro that- "I am a stammerer". I enjoyed it! and after a round of discussions over coffee, we said good bye to Anuj and headed back to Dehradun. Looking forward to more such trips.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

सन्डे सपोर्ट ग्रुप

समग्र आश्रम में सन्डे स्पीच सपोर्ट ग्रुप में नौ लोंगो ने भाग लिया| सबसे पहले एक नाटक ग्रुप द्वारा प्रस्तुत किया गया, नाटक का शीर्षक था "समय से पहुंचा "| आज सन्डे की मिटिंग में श्री एडवर्ड कुरुपानंदन (चर्च के पादरी है व् लेमन हास्पीटल हरबर्टपुर ,देहरादून में रहते है |श्री एडवर्ड जी ने बताया की मै भी बचपन से ही हकलाता था , लेकिन मैंने कभी हार नही मानी | श्री एडवर्ड जी ने अपने बीते हुए कई अनुभव बताकर ग्रुप का उत्साह वर्धन किए |आश्रम, में सुबह के समय वैभव,रुपेश व् देवेन्द्र ने पेंटिंग बनाई तथा एक रोल प्ले किए जिसका शीर्षक था "दिमाक ठिकाने पर "|

Saturday, September 12, 2009

समग्र में मक्का...

समग्र आश्रम में आज के दो महीने पहले (जून २००९) मक्के का बीज बोया गया था | और अब मक्का खाने के लिए तैयार हो गया है | इशु की मम्मी (समग्र में इशु आता है, स्पीच थिरेपी के लिए, इशु की समस्या है "स्वलीनता" ) ने मक्के को देखकर बताया की मक्का खाने के लिए तैयार हो गया है |(चित्र में समग्र स्पीच थिरेपिस्ट विजय इशु की मम्मी को मक्के का छिलका उतारकर दिखाते हुए तथा बगल में खेत में दिख रहा मक्के का तैयार पेड़ )| इशु की मम्मी कुछ मक्का अपने घर ले गयी इशु को खिलाने के लिए |इसके अलावा समग्र टीम (निशु और विजय ) आज गुडरिच गांव में गई व गांव में लोगो को समग्र आश्रम के बारे में बताया| तथा दो लोंगो का हियरिंग जांच भी टीम द्वारा किया गया |व हियरिंग मशीन के लिए आश्रम में राशन कार्ड की फोटो कापी, पहचान पत्र व दो पासपोर्ट साइज फोटो जमा करने के लिए बताया गया |

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Movie show!

We organized a movie show for children from the local community. The show was started with "Tom and Jerry", and then the movie "Sant Gyaneshwar". Saint Gyaneshwar translated Bhagwad Gita from sanskrit to marathi, so that common man could follow it. To read more go to this link . Then we played a lot of interesting games with kids. As it was raining throughout the day, it was really great to have this wonderful indoor session at Samagra.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My "cure" is linked to your "cure"

Today Sachin introduced me to metaphysical meditation, where he gave me a thought :
"In helping others to succeed, I shall find my own prosperity. In the welfare of others, I shall fnd my own well being" by Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda
to ponder upon and think why this saint said such a thing ? Do I really believe it is true? and also explain my answer.Initially, it was really difficult to focus only on this thought when sometimes I got distracted by various sounds (rains, chirping of birds etc..) and my own various unwanted thoughts. I thought that it is true only in some cases. A gave an example to support that too. One of my friend used to spend so much time helping others before every exam that he never had time to prepare for his own and so used to score less.So, you can say that he never found prosperity in helping others to succeed. But the flaw with this argument is that we are linking prosperity just to a result of a few exams and seeing this in a very narrow context. Actually if you see his present situation, he is doing something which he likes and has become an expert in his domain in a very short time. Now the question arises why is this so? It like if you throw a stone in a pond, the waves will originate from that point and come back and terminate at the same point where they started. This analogy is true for the waves of our good work also, which will come back to us. Also at metaphysical level all of us are part of just one atma (soul).
Also another explanation for this would be that when a person works selflessly for others, he is putting in some efforts, which makes him strong (both mental and physical) and knowledgeable and when the time comes to work for himself, only a little effort will bring great results due to his experience and strength.
Now the question is: why am I sharing all this with you? It is because I want to tell you that as a person who stammer (PWS) if we work for other's cure, we get cured indirectly. Which I have observed in my own case. So we should try really hard, until helping others without any expectations becomes a part of our natural self. This will give you immense joy and pleasure.

ग्रुप स्पीच थिरेपी

समग्र आश्रम की टीम द्वारा, साधना केन्द्र आश्रम के स्कूल में, बच्चों को स्पीच थिरेपी का अभ्यास कराया गया | सबसे पहले बच्चों को एक गेम खिलाया गया, तथा इसके बाद स्पीच थिरेपी में बाउम्सिंग टेक्निक का अभ्यास कराया गया |दूसरे चित्र में जय प्रकाश (समग्र वालेंटियर ) बच्चों के साथ स्पीच थिरेपी का अभ्यास करवाते हुए | इसके अलावा समग्र आश्रम में सुंदर (उम्र १६ वर्ष,हकलाहट काल्पनिक नाम ) को स्पीच थिरेपी व् अंश कुमार (उम्र २ वर्ष,डिले स्पीच )को स्पीच थिरेपी दिया गया |पहले चित्र में जय प्रकाश, किशन लाल निवासी आसंबाग, देहरादून उम्र ५६ वर्ष, सुनने में समस्या) को हियरिंग एड लगाकर ,हियरिंग ट्रायल करते हुए |यह हियरिंग एड, एन.आई.वी.एच.से फ्री में समग्र आश्रम द्वारा किशन लाल के लिए पारित कराया गया है |

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Visit to Johnson Secondary School

I went to Johnson Secondary School (Herbetpur) with Sachin to gave an introductory speech about stammering,what exactly it is?, what is is the role of students, teachers and Samagra in therapy. Sachin started the dialog by sharing some of his experiences, how stammering affects children and the hope that people can get over it. Next came my turn to speak in front of around 150 children. I was a bit afraid and my heart beat went up, but to my surprise everything was under control! I shared a few experiences from my school days so that teachers and students can really understand that its much more than a speech disorder, and if there is any kid who is facing this problem and listening, can easily relate to us. After my speech i felt really great and I would like to do it more and more (anybody listening!!)

This whole experience has taught me that in stammering if we try to help others, we are helping ourselves indirectly. Our "cure" is linked with other's "cure". So we should not wait for a day when we will get rid of our stammer and then help others, rather we can start right at this moment, trying to help others and curing ourselves too!

Dehradun SHG meet - 6th September 2006

Dehradun Self Help Group (SHG) met on 6 September for their weekly meet. 12 members and a few guests were present. We started with a round of introductions and then the came the
highlight of the meeting : a drama to be presented by the group members. We divided ourselves into two groups and had 15 minutes to prepare from an already prepared script. It was really fun but sometimes people (I was one of them :) ) got so excited that their speech went out of control. Also as Sachin described after the play, what ever we did was a drama in a bigger drama (the whole world)! The guests gave a good and constructive feedback. After an energizer, we did an interesting activity where we started a question answer round but before answering each person had to eat a biscuit from a plate on the table, shew and swallow it and then answer! The basic idea was to make us used to the idea of taking our own time and then answer and never come under time pressure. We concluded with feedback session.

Friday, September 4, 2009

अंश (स्पीच थिरेपी)

समग्र आश्रम में अंश ( उम्र २ वर्ष पिछडा वाणी ) को स्पीच थिरेपी विजय द्वारा दिया गया | अंश बंशीपुर देहरादून का निवासी है | अंश की एक बड़ी बहन है, जो पहली कक्षा में पढती है |

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

हियरिंग एड...

समग्र आश्रम चार हियरिंग एड, एन. आई. वी. एच. से पारित कराया | पहले चित्र में नेताराम ( उम्र ५६ वर्ष निवासी एटनबाग , देहरादून ) को विजय हियरिंग एड लगाते हुए | एन. आई.वी.एच.से हियरिंग एड, गरीबी रेखा के नीचे जीवन यापन कराने वाले परिवारों को फ्री में पारित किया जाता है |

Computer and Spoken English Class

We organized our first computer and spoken English class. For the first trial class, I had 3 students. As all of them had basic internet skills, I taught them what is a blog, how to create their own blog and share their thoughts with the world and also intoduced them to The Indian Stammering Association (TISA) website. THey were really amazed when they saw how much information was available over internet and especially on TISA's website and that they could chat with fellow PWS (People Who Stammer). We interacted only in English through out the session so that they can improve their spoken English as well. Initially they were a bit shy, but opened up slowly.