Aaghaz-e-Dosti was started way back in 2012. While there is no founding date, the earliest documented communication regarding Aaghaz-e-Dosti is a mail dated 14 May 2012. Aaghaz-e-Dosti was initiated by Mission Bhartiyam, an India-based youth organisation. The name Aaghaz-e-Dosti was selected from a pool of names that would reflect the essence of the initiative. Aaghaz-e-Dosti combines Urdu and Hindi. While Urdu is spoken in both India and Pakistan, Hindi is largely spoken in India.
Initially, Mission Bhartiyam collaborated with IMOV Humans and Centre for Youth Development Activities from Pakistan for the first Indo-Pak Peace Calendar. The logo of Aaghaz-e-Dosti was designed by Armaan Khan of IMOV Humans. In September 2013, Mission Bhartiyam collaborated with The Catalyst.
Since March 2016, Aaghaz-e-Dosti is an initiative of India-based Mission Bhartiyam and Pakistan-based The Catalyst of Peace. Both are young organisations run by students or young professionals who work for Indo-Pak friendship in addition to their studies or work.
The working structure of Aaghaz-e-Dosti consists of founder, two convenors (temporary post) – India and Pakistan, core committee members, city-coordinators, members of city chapters, task-based committees and volunteers.
Ravi Nitesh is the founder of Mission Bhartiyam and Aaghaz-e-Dosti. He founded Aaghaz-e-Dosti in May 2012. He is an engineer by profession. He is also associated with several other organisations working on Indo-Pak peace and Human Rights. He is also a freelance writer on the issues of Kashmir, Indopak and contemporary issues.
Devika Mittal is the convenor (India) of Aaghaz-e-Dosti and core member of Mission Bhartiyam. She is currently pursuing Ph.D in Sociology from Delhi School of Economics. She is also a freelance writer on the issues of Gender, Indo-Pak and contemporary issues.
Aliya Harir is the convenor (Pakistan) of Aaghaz-e-Dosti and founder member of The Catalyst of Peace. She joined Aaghaz-e-Dosti in September 2013. She has done her post-graduation from Quaid-e-Azam University.
Madhulika Narasimhan is a core member of Aaghaz-e-Dosti. She is the Chairperson of Delhi Chapter. She is also in the Blog team of Aaghaz-e-Dosti. She has done her post-graduation in Sociology from South Asian university. She has worked as a columnist and citizen volunteer for DNA.
Suraya Islam is a core member of Aaghaz-e-Dosti and founder member of The Catalyst of Peace. She is the Karachi Coordinator. She is a former Teach For Pakistan Fellow.
*Dehradun (Uttarakhand) Chapter – Prashant Nautiyal
*Delhi Chapter – Madhulika Narasimhan (Chairperson), Madhuri Mittal (Treasurer), Yashika Pahwa (Member), Sarral Sharma (Member), Rupika (Member), Sanjana Arya (Member)
*Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) Chapter – Ali Abbas, Swathi Gadepalli
*Meerut (UP) Chapter – Shruti Arora
*Vadodara (Gujarat) Chapter – Dr. Nidhi Shendurnikar Tere
*Islamabad Chapter – Umer Abdur Rehman Janjua, Syed Zeeshan Ali Shah, Saba Khalid, Fatima Shah
*Karachi Chapter – Suraya Islam
*Lahore Chapter – Namra Nasir, Raza Khan, Safia Bokhari, Mujtaba Subhani
*Peshawar Chapter – Abdur Rauf Yousafzai
*Toba Tek Singh Chapter – Umair Ahmad
Dubai chapter – Zebaish Shaikh
Kyrgyz Chapter – Nasima Karim
Blog Team Devika Mittal, Madhulika Narasimhan, Dr. Nidhi Shendurnikar Tere, Ravi Nitesh, Sheharyar Rizwan and Umer Abdur Rehman Janjua.
Aaghaz-e-Dosti is an effort of not just the team but also of our dedicated volunteers in both countries. The volunteers of Aaghaz-e-Dosti contribute through participating in initiatives, helping in organising initiatives, contributing through articles and poems for the blog and sharing their valuable inputs which makes it all possible. While anyone can join Aaghaz-e-Dosti, only people who work are included as volunteers. Aaghaz-e-Dosti acknowledges the contribution of volunteers in reports, press releases, announcements related to events and entitles them for a certificate/letter of appreciation when asked for. We request media persons, selection committee members regarding an award or fellowship program to cross-check with us about the membership and profile of the applicant to avoid any situation of misunderstanding.
Besides individuals, Aaghaz-e-Dosti has also seen participation in terms of collaborations in specific events with other peace organisations. The efforts of Aaghaz-e-Dosti has been joined by:
*The Catalyst – Tc, Pakistan. Aaghaz-e-Dosti was a joint project of Mission Bhartiyam (India) and The Catalyst – Tc from September 2013 to February 2016.
*Centre for Youth Development and Activities (CYDA), Pakistan for Tree for Harmony 2012 and for the Calendar for Peace and Love initiative
*Imov Humans – Armaan Khan Foundation, Pakistan for the Calendar for Peace and Love – 2013. The official logo of Aaghaz-e-Dosti was designed by Armaan Khan, founder of Imov Humans – Armaan Khan Foundation.
*Youth Association for Development, Pakistan for Tree for Harmony 2014
*Indian Council for Talent Search and Competitions (ICTSC), India for Indo-Pak Peace Calendar 2015
*SAMAAJ – Social Awareness Media and Art Junction, Pakistan for Indo-Pak Peace Calendar 2015
*SAWAN – South Asian Writers and Artists Network, Pakistan for Indo-Pak Peace Calendar 2015