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Ajat: Embracing Leadership

"Play is always a positive practice: it provides a sense of unity within communities, and allows everyone involved to equally share and participate."

Ajat is a leader in Play for Peace, India, and how he came to this position is an interesting story... In 2007, he left his corporate job to find more meaningful work. With the support of his family, he began attending workshops on human therapy, and further developing his leadership abilities. In 2010, after his wife earned a scholarship to attend a university in Scotland, the whole family moved to the United Kingdom. This is where Ajat's volunteering increased. He worked with a variety of organizations, including Woodcraft Folks, whose values are similar to Play for Peace.

Upon leaving Scotland, his leadership skills found a new home. He became a Play for Peace Certified trainer and has led training workshops all over India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Over the last two years, Ajat has been involved as a Play for Peace trainer with the Centre for Social Equity & Inclusion (CSEI), which works for the inclusion of marginalized communities through education--Dalits, Tribes & Muslims. Ajat feels that the youth in these communities have the potential to excel, but that their journey is hampered by experiences of discrimination. This is where Play for Peace comes in. In May 2015,  Ajat assisted with two major Play for Peace programs in India.

One involved Play for Peace training to staff of an organization that provides placements for European volunteers; the other involved workshops for 700 students from the 7th to 11th grade. Despite the extreme environmental conditions of 46-degree (celsius) temperatures, the children were engaged and joyful. Ajat was pleased with the success of the program! Ajat sees Play for Peace blossoming through the many participants involved: two of his colleagues from CSEI, Rahul and Vijay, come to mind. Vijay is so enthused with the program that he seeks out opportunities to share Play for Peace activities. Rahul has deeply embraced the role of effective Facilitator. Look for Rahul's story in our blog next week! From corporate lifestyle to peace activist, Ajat found his meaningful work in Play for Peace.

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