Who we are ?
ssstart is there to ease the process of human communication. We are on a mission to question the conventions that mechanize our existence. We are developing methodologies for new ways of communication that are simple yet effective, slow yet long-lasting, and professional yet playful. Let’s ssstart!
We will be facilitating workshops, awareness programs and advocacy campaigns to normalize different speech disabilities and unique styles of communication.
We will demonstrate self-humor through activities like stand-up comedy, rapping and street plays. We will prove that we deserve to be heard and belong in society.
Meet Our Founder
As a little child in New Delhi, life was beautiful. I remember, when I started my schooling, that it was so much fun learning English and Hindi alphabets, mathematics, and drawing. I used to recite prayers and sing the national anthem in the school assembly. In classes, I was the one who read the mathematics table aloud as my classmates repeated after me.
But then everything changed when I witnessed violence amongst adults for the first time. I felt wounded and yet so numb that I used to stand in one place for hours without having a single thought. I found myself in shackles. Before, I was scared to sit in the dark, but at this point, I found refuge in darkness.
I stopped communicating. When I was asked a question, my words didn’t come out. The school stage that used to be my comfort zone changed into a “battlefield”.
One day, the whole class started to stammer “gu-gu-gu-good morning,” and I realized that they were mocking me.
My classmates and their parents even complained to the principal that I could be a bad influence and make all of them stammers. My mother couldn’t believe that her son, whose tongue was as fast as a train and sharp as a razor, was struggling with his speech! Being subject to constant mocking, I completely lost my confidence.
I used different strategies to ease my stammering: finding alternatives for words I generally got stuck on, reducing my statements to a minimum, or arriving late to avoid introducing myself.
When people tried to help by asking me to slow down or by finishing my sentences, it made me even more conscious. And then there were these weird and rather dangerous advice like licking ashes of cremated bodies or rubbing alum on the tongue until the upper layer was removed. Looking back, my childhood was not easy, but do I regret having a stammer? No. It made me a more sensitive human being. I feel connected with all who are unable to express their thoughts and are longing to be understood.
In the summer of 2018, I got in touch with Vinayak, a man who needed almost 7 minutes to introduce himself. He was from The Indian Stammering Association (TISA), and he invited me to attend the annual conference in Delhi.
When I listened to the speakers, I was amazed by how confident and comfortable they were while speaking in public.
Soon enough, I found myself among my “tribe”, and now we were the ones who made fun of our inabilities, or shall I say, our special style of communication!
For the first time, I didn’t have to run away from myself.
The next day, we got a task to talk to passengers in the Delhi metro. We explained our challenges and how we felt being ridiculed. People listened to us and signed a pledge to be considerate towards anyone facing a communication problem.
All this helped me to be in harmony with myself and to accept that I am a stammerer. Now I can take control of my life, as I realized I am not alone. And BOOM! I jumped back on stage again and took every opportunity to fail miserably, more than ever before. But I did learn one thing: I can now say my name fluently, a name that starts with “PU”—a sound I had always struggled with.
-Puneet Singh Signal
Meet The Team
Let’s meets to our amazing team member’s
I was born and raised in Kyiv, Ukraine and moved to Germany with my mother when I was 16 years old. Experiencing contact to people from diverse cultural backgrounds made me curious about cross cultural communication.
In my 20s I studied Communication Design and did my BA of honors in Media Production and worked as a group facilitator and trainer in various educational contexts. In my 30s I did my M.Sc. in Usability Engineering and continued facilitation of various teams.
I am passionate about accessibility, specifically in the context of communication. I believe that access to communication training should be available to all people and that trainers and team facilitators should represent diverse groups of people through their own lived experiences. I feel honoured to be a part of the Ssstart team and to have an opportunity to contribute in the areas of interpersonal communication and facilitation training.
Ajay Kumar Samariya
Ajay Kumar Samariya is a Chartered Engineer (India) and a Policy Enthusiast. He has a keen interest in research in the areas mainly IPR, Behavioural Economics, and Public Policy.
Additionally, he has a dual Master’s, one is in public policy, law & governance from the Central University of Rajasthan and the other one is in Economics and a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering. He has a working experience with national and international organizations in India and abroad for about more than 4 years.
Apart from this, he is interested in understanding the behavioural aspects of society, and human development and exploring comprehensive solutions with public policies to global issues like UNSDG 2 “Zero Hunger”, UNSDG 4″Quality Education” and creating social impact by promoting Food for all and Education for all. He is excited to apply his quantitative rigor and strengths in creative problem-solving and leadership to the field of development and policy.
Mohamin is an MBA Graduate based in Srinagar city. He has worked on some important projects related to buying behavior of farmers during MBA. He loves to educate people by making videographical content on social media. At Ssstart he makes audio visual content about stammer.
Vivek is a public policy enthusiast. He is a Commission Member at IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic, and Social Policy (CEESP). He is also a contributing writer at Public Policy India.
Adv. Chinmay anand Panigrahi
An advocate by profession, he currently holds the position of Legal Consultant at Cheif Information Commission, beside he independently practices at various courts and tribunals. He constantly vouches for the issues to Human Rights and Criminal Justice.
Pertinently, he has spent considerable amount of time working in this field, which depicts his true passion and success. Among other things, he has also served as Law-Clerk-cum-Research Assistant at the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India for couple of years.