Aaghaz-e-Dosti (lit. beginning of Friendship) is a joint Indo-Pak Friendship initiative of Mission Bhartiyam (India) and The Catalyst of Peace – TCP (Pakistan). Both organisations works in the field of Peace, Communal Harmony and Human Rights. The members are all either students or young professionals and we are doing this in addition to our work. Besides the two organisations, Aaghaz-e-Dosti has joined hands with several organisations in the past.
Started in May 2012, Aaghaz-e-Dosti aims to create unwavering bonds of peace and friendship between India and Pakistan. It has involved itself in peace building and conflict resolution by facilitating people-to-people contact, challenging mutual hatred and suspicion, creating a culture of peace and understanding among people of both countries and highlighting the issues of victims of conflicts (Soldiers, Prisoners, Fishermen and Divided Families).
Aaghaz-e-Dosti has been working primarily through peace education activities. Aaghaz-e-Dosti has taken several initiatives that includes interactive sessions in schools and colleges called Aman Chaupals, discussions, seminars, peace workshops, letter exchange and greeting card exchange programs, the annual Indo-Pak Peace calendar which is a collection of paintings by school students from both sides, a virtual Eight-Week peace-building course called Friends Beyond Borders (First and the only virtual peace-building course in South Asia) and various virtual campaigns that are run on our official Facebook page, Facebook group and Twitter.
Our members also write regularly on Indo-Pak issues. Their articles get published in newspapers and newsportals of both countries. Our members write on issues ranging from the need for peace to the core issues of conflict. Read the articles
We are also working as a pressure group. We have been continuously approaching authorities on both sides to take steps to improve Indo-Pak relations.
Aaghaz-e-Dosti has also been working to highlight the issues of prisoners and fishermen. It is the initiative that brought the list of Indian and Pakistani prisoners and fishermen lodged in each other’s jail in the public domain.
With our continuous efforts since last few years, we have become one of the most prominent voices on Indo-Pak peace. Aaghaz-e-Dosti has been felicitated with several awards:
- Aaghaz-e-Dosti was recognized as one of the best projects in South Asia under “Advocacy” and “Best use of Social Media” at the 3rd eNGO South Asia Challenge 2014
- Aaghaz-e-Dosti was felicitated at the Global Peace Initiative 2015 hosted by Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research (Mumbai, India)
- Aaghaz-e-Dosti won the Social Media Empowerment Award 2015 hosted by Digital Empowerment Foundation India (DEFIndia)
- Aaghaz-e-Dosti was felicitated with Global Youth Peace Icon Award 2016 under exemplary Youth Action & Activism category at 11th Global Youth Peace Fest, (Chandigarh, India)