P.S Ramaswamy

The decision to take the six-day facilitator training workshop in Theatre of the Oppressed at the Mandala Centre for Change in Port Townsend, Seattle, dramatically altered the course of Ram’s life. With a PhD in Organic Chemistry and 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry in India, Ram saw his life’s focus shift as a result of this experience.

This was both remarkable and completely understandable, for, throughout his career as a Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs professional, what set Ram apart from so many of his colleagues was his concern for genuine dialogue and democratic processes in communication, fostering critical thinking in the people who trained with him, and encouraging the exploration of multiple strategies for problem-solving.

Ram followed his six-day training in Theatre of the Oppressed with a four week intensive study period. He shadowed Marc Weinblatt during his residency in Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, where Ram and Radha had organised trainings and shorter workshops to be conducted by Marc for different communities. The workshops for Non Government Organisation (NGO) staff, medical professionals, teachers and theatre students, and the community performances for underprivileged sections of society that Marc conducted, helped crystallise Ram’s plans for seeking a different context for applying his skills, interest and experience.

Ram combined his life long interest in popular education with his experience of training in the pharmaceutical industry, as he handled his multiples roles in CCDC as a researcher, documentalist and facilitator.

"Theatre of the Oppressed helped me identify the soft underbelly lying dormant within me, obscured by the hard outer shell,” says Ram. “Having followed the path of scientific exploration all these years, Theatre of the Oppressed provided a complimentary process for additional self exploration. It is very exciting - although it could, at times, turn out to be unsettling.”

Ram was an integral part of CCDC's activities until his untimely death in December 2018. He continues to be a source of inspiration, guidance and strength for the CCDC Team.