Aaghaz-e-Dosti felicitated with Public Peace Prize Award 2017

public peaze prize to aaghaz-e-dosti

Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a cross border Indo-Pak Friendship Initiative, is now a laureate under the category of “Special Mention” for the Public Peace Prize 2017. Public Peace Prize is an International award and regarded as the “People’s Award”. It is the public that sends in nominations and then votes to choose the laureates according to the proposed categories. In 2017, it has recognised peacemakers from Cameroon, Colombia, Ghana, India, France, Nigeria, Pakistan, USA and Yemen. The criteria for recognition was is uniqueness of project, challenges, courage, audacity and selflessness of changemakers and their efforts. 

In 2017, it has recognised peacemakers from Cameroon, Colombia, Ghana, India, France, Nigeria, Pakistan, USA and Yemen. Besides Aaghaz-e-Dosti, 2017 laureates include Elliot Hillary Dogbe who is an 11 year old peace activist from Ghana, Khairatul Saidu from Nigeria who is working for rights for the unjustly imprisoned, Zubair Torwali from Pakistan for his work to increase literacy in the indigeneous people of Swat Valley among several other inspiring changemakers who have been felicitated as laureates or finalists.

Aaghaz-e-Dosti (“Beginning of Friendship” in Hindi and Urdu) is proud to have received such a recognition. Aaghaz-e-Dosti is proclaimed as Laureate for the 2017 Public Peace Prize in the category of Mediators for Reconciliation between Groups Divided by Conflicts.

Public Peace Prize wrote for Aaghaz-e-Dosti, “Aaghaz-e-Dosti is laureate 2017 for its pledge and its consistent actions seeking to reconcile communities that have been rivals in two countries.  Most of the public’s support went to this civil initiative which was considered both innovative and bold.”

An initiative engaged with citizen diplomacy, Aaghaz-e-Dosti works 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. It works through peace education activities in schools and colleges, advocacy on the issues of the victims of conflict by documentation and by approaching the concerned authorities on both sides.

Despite being a voluntary and unfunded initiative, Aaghaz-e-Dosti has been able to be a consistent voice and platform working for Indo-Pak peace since May 2012. Aaghaz-e-Dosti was founded by Ravi Nitesh of Mission Bhartiyam in India in 2012. For Aaghaz-e-Dosti, Mission Bhartiyam had collaborated with several organisations of Pakistan (such as CYDA, IMOV, The Catalyst, The Catalyst for Peace) in the past and from May 2017, Aaghaz-e-Dosti became a joint initiative of Mission Bhartiyam and Pakistan-based Hum Sab Aik Hai (lit. “We are One”).

Aaghaz-e-Dosti has always been run by active and committed individuals who worked voluntarily. For this reason, there have been people who also left in the spirit of keeping the initiative active. This award is dedicated to every individual who has ever contributed to Aaghaz-e-Dosti.

At present, Aaghaz-e-Dosti has regional chapters and or co-ordinators in Aligarh, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Delhi, Mumbai and Vadodara in India and in Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi and Toba Tek Singh in Pakistan. It also has co-ordinators in Dubai and Kyrgyz Republic.

Aaghaz-e-Dosti has received several awards in the past for its peacebuilding efforts. For Aaghaz-e-Dosti, this recognition is recognising the commitment of the team of volunteers who are working for the cause and realising the hope for peace of millions of people who are affected with conflict, violence, hatred and enmity.

Aaghaz-e-Dosti extends its sincere thanks to Public Peace Prize and assure that it will continue to bring to our fold, more committed and motivated young people who want to make this world a better place to live in and in making our region more peaceful and free from violence. Aaghaz-e-Dosti is committed and increasing its membership base in both countries as well as in third countries to cater IndoPak diaspora and spreading peace message across globe. It respects, appreciates and follows SDG goals of UN where Peacebuilding is seen as one of the global committment under SDG13. In coming months, Aaghaz-e-Dosti is bringing few innovative and new programs under which people will take part towards strengthening citizen diplomacy and peace education.

Apply Now: Peace Internship Program

Peace Internship Program

With the objective to increase the peace tribe, Aaghaz-e-Dosti launches peace internships. The Peace Internship Program is a four-week internship program (can be extended) which while being specialized in a specific field – writing, research, video editing and designing, will inculcate an understanding of peace and conflict in context of the Indo-Pak issue. The internship will equip you to understand conflict, and contribute to peace between India and Pakistan.

The Peace Internship Program has been designed keeping in mind the voluntary nature and the time constraints that may bound an individual. The program is home-based and easily doable but does require hardwork. An intern will have to devote about 10 hours in a week.

Since this is a non-funded initiative, we will not be able to offer any monetary remuneration. However, the interns will receive a certificate on the completion of the internship program.

Aaghaz-e-Dosti is seeking:

Writing Interns

Work

Writing Interns will be given a maximum of 4 different writing assignments which may include movie review, article, poem and fiction story. Feedback will be provided on the writing style, analysis and understanding of the conflict.

Eligibility

  • Good command over written English
  • Prior knowledge of writing skills
  • Ability to analyse issues
  • Able to meet deadlines and complete one assignment (writing and incorporation of feedback) in a week’s time

To apply, please send a writing sample along with your CV and statement of interest.

Research Interns

Work: This will be done in a group. A group of 4 people will work on a particular issue that informs the Indo-Pak Conflict. The team will divide the work and will be involved in compiling, analyzing and documenting data. The objective of the research team will be to understand the issue from different perspectives.

Data collection will involve finding and reading existing works, collecting data through survey and interview method.

The team will write a joint report. Besides the report, they can also explore creative, alternative methods to present the findings.

Eligibility: Any previous experience in research will be preferred. To apply, please send your CV and statement of interest.

Video Interns

Interns will make video on particular issue, in collaboration with research team or independent. This will involve video making and editing work.

Eligibility: Some experience in video making/editing is mandatory. Please share any previous work along with your CV and statement of interest.

Design Interns – photo editing and designing of posters (content will be given).

Eligibility: Some experience in designing and photo editing is mandatory. Please share any previous work along with your CV and statement of interest.

The first peace internship will start from 20th June (tentative date). Please do not apply if you will not be able to commit one month (10 hours a week) for this program. 

Deadline to Apply: 15 June 2017

To apply, please email with the above-stated documents to aaghazedosti@gmail.com

Aaghaz-e-Dosti (An Indo-Pak Friendship Initiative)

pakistani-students-send-new-year-cards-to-indian-students-aaghaz-e-dosti-7

Aaghaz-e-Dosti (lit. Beginning of Friendship) is an Indo-Pak Friendship Initiative. It was initiated by Mission Bhartiyam in May 2012. The founder of Aaghaz-e-Dosti is Ravi Nitesh. Initially, Aaghaz-e-Dosti collaborated with several organisations for specific events and as well as for the entire initiative. From May 2017, Aaghaz-e-Dosti became a joint Indo-Pak Friendship Initiative of Mission Bhartiyam (India) and Hum Sab Aik Hain (Pakistan).

Aaghaz-e-Dosti is involved in citizen diplomacy by providing peace education and facilitating people-to-people contact, aimed at challenging mutual hatred and suspicion, educating people about the conflict, how it affects us and developing faith in peace building and conflict resolution.

It strives towards this through interactive sessions in schools and colleges called Aman Chaupals, public discussions, peace workshops, letter exchange and greeting card exchanges on festivals, an Indo-Pak Peace calendar, an eight-week virtual peace-building course called Friends Beyond Borders and virtual campaigns.

12th-aman-chaupal-pakistani-peace-activists-interact-with-students-in-indiaAaghaz-e-Dosti has used ICT extensively for peace building. With regard to visa restrictions on people-to-people contact, internet is among the most important ways for Indians and Pakistanis to engage with each other. Aaghaz-e-Dosti has used ICT to connect Indian and Pakistani classrooms, facilitate interaction between activists in Pakistan and youth in India (and vice versa) and has even launched the first peace building virtual course in South Asia called Friends Beyond Borders wherein an Indian and a Pakistani is paired and has regular discussions on different issues over eight weeks. It uses its blog, social media pages as a platform for people to connect with people, share their experiences, thoughts for peace and represent their country, culture to break stereotypes across the border. 

Aaghaz-e-Dosti is 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 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.

Visit http://aaghazedosti.wordpress.com

Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/aaghazedosti/

Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/aaghazedosti/

Twitter https://twitter.com/aaghazedosti

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Youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/Aaghazedosti

Peace and Harmony

In the field of Peace and Harmony, we work for peace building and communal harmony by organizing discussions, human chains, public demonstrations, peace rallies and through peace education activities.

We organize festival celebrations which are open to followers of all religions. We also send delegations to riot-hit or communally sensitive areas called Sadbhavna Dal (lit. Peace Delegations). We have tried to contribute to peace and harmony beyond the Indian boundaries, in South Asia.

Under our “Bharat Nepal Paraspar Samvad”, we attempt to strengthen ties between India and Nepal. We have “Aaghaz-e-Dosti” to develop bonds of trust and friendship between India and Pakistan.

Every year, we also observe “Tree for harmony”, wherein we plants “harmony trees”. We believe that trees symbolize brotherhood and prosperity and resist discrimination on the basis of gender, caste, class and nationality. Thus, this unique initiative combines both environment and peace and harmony. Tree Plantation is accompanied by a discussion, creative activity on peace, a specific issue of peace or/and environment. Tree for Harmony is observed as a week – 16 September (World Ozone Day) to 21 September (World Peace Day) and is organized in schools and colleges across and even beyond South Asia.