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 suggested 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.
There has been misinformation/misinterpretation around the founder-ship in few media reports. There is only one founder. Aaghaz-e-Dosti was launched in India in 2012 by Ravi Nitesh of Mission Bhartiyam and worked without a collaborator in Pakistan for more than an year.
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.
In March 2016, Aaghaz-e-Dosti became an initiative of India-based Mission Bhartiyam and Pakistan-based The Catalyst of Peace. In May 2017, Hum Sab Aik Hain also joined as a collaborator from Pakistan (collaboration ended in 2021). These are voluntary organisations run by students or young professionals who work for Indo-Pak friendship in addition to their studies or work.
At Present, Aaghaz-e-Dosti is an initiative of Mission Bhartiyam, a voluntary organisation working in the fields of peace, communal harmony and social justice. Aaghaz-e-Dosti collaborates with like-minded organisations for individual events.
Aaghaz-e-Dosti has a defined working structure consisting of Founder, Conveners, Core Committee and Team Members – city co-ordinators and task-based coordinators. There are also city-based teams and volunteers.
Former Team Members
- Abdur Rauf Yousafzai – Served as Peshawar Co-ordinator (Feb 2015 – May 2017)
- Akhtarnawaz Tanoli – Served as team members (Oct 2013-March 2015)
- Ali Abbas – Served as Hyderabad Co-ordinator (October 2014- Nov 2016)
- Aliya Harir – Served as Convener – Pak (Oct 2013-May 2017)
- Fatima Shah – Served as Islamabad team member (May 2015-October 2016)
- Ilma Iqbal – Served as Lucknow co-ordinator (April 2015-July 2017)
- Imrana Qasim – Served as team member (Oct 2013-April 2016)
- Madhavi Bansal – Served as Bangalore Co-ordinator (Jan 2015-2016)
- Nasima Karim – Served as Kyrgyz Chapter Co-ordinator (Dec 2016-16 December 2017)
- Nidhi Shendurnikar Tere – Served as Vadodara Co-ordinator (2014 – December 2016); Blog Editing Team Member (May 2016-16 December 2017)
- Shakeel Ahmed Shah – Served as team member (Oct 2013-March 2015)
- Suraya Islam – Served as Karachi Co-ordinator (2014-May 2017)
- Syed Zeeshan Ali Shah – Served as Islamabad team member (2015-16 December 2017)
- Umber Abdur Janjua – Served as blog editor and team member (Nov 2016-May 2017)
- Raza Khan – Served as Lahore Co-ordinator and then as Convener – Pak (2017-October 2021)
- Atiqa Shahid – Served as Lahore Co-ordinator and core team member (2018- October 2021)
- Madhulika Narasimhan – Served as Delhi Coordinator and core team member (2013- November 2021)