First FOM Meeting at Bhopal and Fourth Meeting at Madhya Pradash

The FOM meeting held on 20th March 2016 at Bhopal’s Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad Chatrashakti was almost a dream coming true for me. It all started with a call from Vijaya ma’am asking for confirmation of attending.
The MP core group members took on the responsibility of calling and convincing patients.
20th March dawned bright and beautiful. By 9am, Amma and Vijaya were at the venue along with a few local volunteers.
This meeting was organized by FOM Mr. J.P.Tiwari. He is a very good and nice person and his family also volunteered.
Banners were put in place, registration desks set up with patient educational material and the meeting hall was checked for seating, laptop connection was checked out and mikes were tested. The rest of the volunteers took their place to handle the registration process.
As soon as participants were registered, they were offered tea and breakfast of poha, jalebis
Two of the doctors arrived and the meeting started with a welcome speech by Vijaya who did a good job of speaking in English and Hindi. She spoke about Max and The Max Foundation.
After that, Amma spoke about the role of Friends of Max in Hindi and some English. FOM J P Tiwari and Anil Nagpal, who had come from Delhi, spoke more about Friends of Max.
Vijaya ma’am then invited the Doctors to deal with FAQ’s and individual patient questions. When the last doubt had been cleared, lunch was announced. The lunch was very tasty and excellent arrangements had been made for lunch. Patients and caregivers also got a chance to talk to others in the hall and feel that they were not the only ones to fight with the disease.
After lunch, Amma took the stage and explained about ‘How to Tell a Story’. The audience was divided into four groups on the basis of colour of their name tags. Each group had a leader and two or three stories from each group was presented.
The session helped to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship and establish new friendships.
The day ended with a group photos, hugs and a lot of confidence for all the patents and caregivers for whom this FOM support group meeting was a first time experience.

Report by Garima Jain- FOM Madhya Pradesh