The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.
And we met one such group of these beautiful people on the morning of 11th January, 2015, in the Pune FOM Regional Meet. The meeting took place at one of our favourite place, The IMA Hall.
The Pune FOM welcomed Amma, along with Priyanka and Vidyaji a day earlier, we had dinner with them and sat down to discuss the Agenda and important points of discussion at the meet. Like all our other meets, this regional meet was special too. We were about to welcome 150 brave patients and their care givers. Well! Special mention to our FOM from Mumbai who travelled early morning from Bombay and made sure they were not late for the meet, our surprises for the day, Sureshji and Wamanji.
Since the meeting was in January, the Pune morning looked absolutely gorgeous. While we were setting up our registration counter and getting ready for the meet, we welcomed a lot of distant patient even before time. Then there was masti, there were photo sessions and there was laughter.
The meeting began with Registration and Tea. Our lovely lady Vidyaji was handling the registration counter accompanied by Geeta aunty and Jayant uncle. It was so surprising to see patients reading the materials provided without wasting a minute, and they were clicked.
The Agenda for the rest of the day was:
- 10:30 – Meeting was called to attention by singing the National Anthem
- 10:40 – Our very own Pune FOM volunteer, also known as Captain, Shashikant Bhai welcomed the crowd with his welcome speech.
- 11:00 – Viji Venkatesh, I prefer Amma, gave a presentation introducing Max and the FOM
- 11:30 – There was a Q&A session with the Medical Experts, this has always been the favourite session for patients. Dr. Sameer Melinkeri, very briefly and with loads of patience, answered each and every question asked by patients and their care givers.
- 1:00 – Priyanka made a well-received presentation on the importance of Compliance. Speaking in the regional language Marathi, its impact was tremendous. She then gave the Vote of thanks and, like a Teacher explained why it is always important to keep the Max office updated with the contact details. Priyanka rocked the show.
- 1:05 – Another favourite session was the Lunch.
- 2:00 – Amma organised the Drama Therapy Workshop.
It was wonderful to see patients comes out of their nutshell and perform with utmost confidence and courage. During the entire Drama Therapy session there was no patient, there was no disease, no sorrow, there was only fun and laughter. Often talking with friends or family members may help you feel a lot better. They can comfort and reassure you in ways that no one else can. But you may find that you have to make the first move. The Drama Therapy really helps in making this first move and I would love to see this happening in almost all our meets.
- 4:00 – The meeting was ended by a huge group selfie, as we know one cannot leave without a selfie when Amma is around.
We headed downstairs for some tea and coffee and bid a good bye to everyone with a promise to meet again.
Amruta Patidar, FOM Volunteer, Pune