History of Aaghaz-e-Dosti
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 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. 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 a joint initiative of Mission Bhartiyam in India and The Catalyst of Peace and Hum Sab Aik Hain in Pakistan. These are voluntary organisations working in the fields of peace, communal harmony and human rights.
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)
- Imrana Qasim – Served as team member (Oct 2013-April 2016)
- Madhavi Bansal – Served as Bangalore Co-ordinator (Jan 2015-2016)
- Shakeel Ahmed Shah – Served as team member (Oct 2013-March 2015)
- Suraya Islam – Served as Karachi Co-ordinator (2014-May 2017)
- Umber Abdur Janjua – Served as blog editor and team member (Nov 2016-May 2017)