Story of Change

Rajesh Kumar

Overcoming Addictions, Rajesh Goes on to Train 3000+ Youth in YLTP

Rajesh Kumar from Himachal Pradesh took to drugs and alcohol at a very young age. At a time when he should have been focusing on his studies and building his career, Rajesh was often found in a drunken stupor, engaging in meaningless brawls with his friends, neighbors, and family members.

It was in 2003 when he had hit rock bottom, that Rajesh enrolled in The Art of Living’s Youth Leadership Training Program. The program proved to be a turning point in his life and gave him a new direction. Not only did he complete his education, he went on to become a savior of young men who were caught up in the clutches of drugs and alcohol.

Rajesh became actively involved in The Art of Living’s social projects. He soon became an Art of Living teacher and started travelling in the different districts of Himachal building awareness among the youth about overcoming addictions. His travels took him to Chamba, Paonta Sahib, Hamirpur, Kangra, Shimla, Solan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Jammu among other places. Conducting programs in these areas was not an easy task but Rajesh continued his efforts, undeterred by the sometimes hostile attitude of the villagers. Through Nav Chetana and Bal Chetana Shivirs, he was able to bond with the people and in time he was able to bring down the walls and build a rapport with the people.

For almost a year Rajesh made his home with the villagers in Amboa. After doing YLTP, the rural youth there overcame their addictions and joined hands with him in the battle against drugs and alcohol. Rajesh has so far trained 3000+ youth in YLTP and over 10,000 villagers have done Nav Chetana and over 5000 have learnt Sudarshan Kriya. He has also conducted Prison SMART for 800+ prisoners. He has also taught Yoga free of cost to 8,000+ children in 30 schools of Himachal under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Samiti.

In 2011-2012 Rajesh became involved in the “Stand up and Speak out” project which aimed at freeing youth from addictions, building model villages, and empowering rural women. He was also actively involved in the “Stand up and Take Action,” a project for green earth. Currently, Rajesh is a full time YLTP trainer and a member of the YLTP State Council.

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