The All India Centre for Urban and Rural Development, a non- governmental organization was founded by Shri D. P. Ray, the then Member of Parliament, in 1985. After it sustained its existence for three years with non-funded projects it started receiving projects from Govt. funding agencies from 1988 to ultimately grow as a national level NGO being operational in 6 states (Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Jammu & Kashmir and Delhi).
In the year 1988-89 AICURD hosted a National Seminar on 'Prevention of atrocities on women' sponsored by the Dept. of Women and Child Development, HRD Ministry. It also undertook to set up a Sewing-cum-Training Centre on its own which imparted training to poor women and girls. Even hand-driven sewing machines were donated to women in distress at village Rampura Delhi, a move widely applauded by everyone. Further, project on survey of socio-economic status of SC/STs in the district of Dumka (Bihar) was launched, aided by Dept. of Social Welfare.
In 1989-90 being funded by CAPART, AICURD installed hand pumps at Moradabad (UP) and Sidhi (MP) as a part of Potable Drinking Water Project and Awareness Generation Programme.
In 1990-91 Adult Education Project was launched at Golaghat (Assam) funded by Dept. of Education, Ministry of HRD. Also the Awareness Generation project took shape at Jalpaiguri (WB) with fund raised from available sources.
In 1991-92 a plethora of important projects were undertaken like Exhibition on Youth & Sports, Socio-economic survey at Purulia (WB), Nizamabad(AP), National Integration Camp,Training in Shorthand and Typing at Jalpaiguri, NSV project at Adilabad (AP) NFE project at J&K and Seminar on the 'Role of Voluntary Organisation'.
In 1992-93 Socio-economic survey was conducted at Dumka (Bihar) while Shorthand/Typing courses were introduced at Jalpaiguri (WB). Also Youth Training and Leadership Camps were organised while the National Integration Camp was launched at Patna. While the first two projects were funded by the Dept. of Social Welfare, the remaining other projects had financial support from the Dept. of Youth Affairs, Ministry of HRD. Further through CAPART, Potable Drinking Water project was taken up at Kolar (Karnataka) and Animators Training Programme was conducted at West Bengal which was also funded by CAPART.
In 1993-94 Condensed Course under Central Social Welfare Board was conducted at Nangloi (Delhi). Also a project on Education for the Down-trodden aided by UNICEF was undertaken.
A Pilot Project on Shorthand and Typing for SC/STs was conducted at Jalpaiguri (W.B.) and Satna (M.P.) being funded by Ministry of Welfare, Govt. of India.
In 1994-95, a couple of projects funded by the Dept. of Social Welfare were launched. Shorthand/Typing, Sewing/Tailoring courses and Socio-economic survey project for the SC/ST at Purulia (WB) being prominent among them.
BHARAT NIRMAN ACTION PLAN had been a conspicuous glittering landmark in the archives of AICURD’s profile. Sponsored by the Dept. of Youth Affairs & Sports, Ministry of HRD, the plan aimed at presenting the saga of our freedom struggle purely from a secular humanist angle. A total number of 110 events were observed in 110 places all over the country encompassing 19 states and 2 Union Territories over a period of three years (1994-97)
The year 1998 –1999 saw a plethora of important projects on Shorthand/Typing (Computer based) at phulwama, Badgaom, kupuwara and Srinagar in J&K being conducted under the aegis of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. Several other projects were also taken up in the same year at Jalpaiguri (WB).
In 1999 couple of projects were taken up which included Jute Apron Development project from Dept. of Science and Technology, national level seminar of NGOs on ‘Integration through Development’, vocational training projects at Jalpaiguri (WB) and Satna (MP) from Dept. of Youth Affairs, Ministry of H.R.D Govt. of India besides Yamuna Action Plan under MCD (Municipal Corporation Of Delhi) in Delhi. The project in question envisaged Participatory Waste Management in a resettlement colony called Bhalaswa, Delhi, which was taken up by AICURD with two other partner NGOs namely the Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) and Joint Assistance Center (JAC) with the schedule duration of one year and being funded by a loan from the Japan Bank Of Institutional Cooperation (JBIC) through Govt. Of India that was routed through the Ministry Of Environment, Govt. of India.
During the year 2000-2001 AICURD continued to run a Shorthand/Typing Training Centre at Kathua district in J&K state through which 80 trainees belonging to Scheduled Castes were immensely benefitted. Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India, funded the said project. Under grant-in-aid from the same ministry, AICURD conducted a Programme of Craft Training Centre for women from Scheduled Caste category in Kathua where three Training centres were concurrently run at Pathi, Padyari and Budgam benefitting 240 trainees.
Further, a total Literacy programme was implemented through 45 literary centres in Mal and Myanaguri Block of Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal with a duration of 6 months which was participated by 600 persons in 2000-2001
JAN SHIKSHAN SANSTHAN (JSS) is another landmark project undertaken by AICURD which after being accorded sanction from Govt. of India got under way in February 2000. The total number of participants in the training centers conducted by JSS during 2000-01 was 485.
In 2001-2002 JSS spread its wings further when it succeeded in establishing a fairly good rapport with the disadvantaged sections of society and received wide acceptance from women, opening thereby a positive step towards socio-economic transformation of society vis-à-vis empowerment of women.
In another achievement of considerable importance, AICURD launched an Exhibition entitled “Homage to Heroes—Every Day” based on the events, places and martyrs of India’s freedom struggle depicting 365 panels encompassing 365 days of a calendar year.
AICURD played a key role in encouraging women from families living below poverty line to form Self Help Groups (SHGs) to initiate Thrift and Credit activity that would ultimately facilitate their self-employment. This was done under Swarn Jayanthi Gram Swa-Rozgar Yojana (SGSY) introduced by the Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India.
A project on Participatory Waste Management in Bhalaswa, Delhi, under Yamuna Action Plan, was taken up by AICURD with two other partner NGOs namely the Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) and Joint Assistance Centre (JAC) with the Schedule duration of one year and being funded by a loan from the Japan Bank of Institutional Cooperation (JBIC) through Govt. of India.
In 2002-2003 AICURD continued to promote activities of JSS through Vocational Training, Awareness Programmes, organising various workshops and introducing Skill Upgradation programme.
In 2003-04, an Awareness Camp for women in Bhalaswa Resettlement Colony in North West Delhi was organized where AICURD conducted a pilot project on participatory waste management and the project was finally implemented by District Level Gender Resource Centre (GRCs). A Health Awareness Camp was also conducted on 14th September 2003 aiming at the increasing level of health awareness amongst women in and around New Delhi.
In 2004-05 a Seminar on Promotion of Good Governance was organized on 27th November 2004 at Bhai Veer Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi, which was attended by a galaxy of prominent personalities from political as well as academic field. Also an exhibition in Arts and Crafts from North Bengal was held at AICURD headquarters at New Delhi from 15th to 25th October 2004. A state level workshop was also conducted on 24th January 2005 at its headquarter at New Delhi where issues on prevention and control of HIV/AIDS were comprehensively deliberated and observations made on the feedback received. AICURD had also been provided with a program on Solid Waste Management under GoI-UNDP’s National Strategy for urban poor at Dakshinpuri, a poor cluster in the Southern part of Delhi. Alike previous year, JSS had also been running smoothly in Jalpaiguri district along with the computer centre run by AICURD, Jalpaiguri district unit.
In 2005-06, the Total Literacy Program (TLP) was implemented through Literacy centres in Mal, Maynaguri and Sadar blocks of Jalpaiguri district, West Bengal at the instance of the District Magistrate, Jalpaiguri, who was also the Chairman of Zilla Saksharata Prashar Samiti. West Bengal State AICURD had conducted sub-divisional level seminars in 48 places in West Bengal on “Right to Information” being aided by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung – a Germany based NGO.
In 2006-07, AICURD district unit, Jalpaiguri, continued its efforts for promotion of Bamboo, Cane and Jute Craft. SHGs of artisans (four in each trade) have continued to function smoothly and opened their Bank Accounts. AICURD, Delhi, was running three DOT centres in Sanjay Colony, Suraj Park and Bhalasawa in the second phase of DOT, after RNTCP-DOT was successfully completed in the first phase under Delhi Health Scheme, Govt. of NCT, Delhi. AICURD implemented a programme called “Kishori Shakti Yojana”, as a part of ICDS project in Khanjhawala under Dept. of Social Welfare, Govt. of Delhi, providing vocational training on Beauty Culture to 20 adolescent girls between the age group of 11-18 years. At the end of March 2006, 100 students had completed computer training and a large number of students were undergoing training run by AICURD at Basti Vikas Kendra, Sultanpuri, Delhi.
In 2007-08 AICURD arranged a program under National Environment Awareness Campaign (NEAC) in Bhagwanpura on 16th March 2008 and in Badli Gaon on 23rd March, 2008 in Delhi. Right to Information Campaign was also taken up in Kolkata Book Fair with a Joint Collaboration of CHRI and AICURD. AICURD has been running a Child Labour School for the children in the age group of 8-14 years engaged in different hazardous activities under NCLP being aided by Labour Department, Govt. of West Bengal.
AICURD, Jalpaiguri district unit was aided by the Central Social Welfare Board as well as West Bengal Social Welfare Board to organize and run initially 10 Crèche centres for the children of working mothers in the rural areas of Jalpaiguri district. Like previous year, the team of AICURD functionaries, working on the project for the control of HIV/AIDS in Samaipur-Badli area in Delhi could make considerable progress in various components of targeted intervention.
In 2008-09, AICURD organized a special programme to eradicate Malaria from the contaminated areas that was named as “Bed Net Impregnation Programme” in different blocks of Jalpaiguri under the financial support from the Health and Family Welfare Department, Govt. of West Bengal.
In 2009-10, AICURD Jalpaiguri district unit had started Micro Finance activities among the members and associates to extend financial support in their need. The fund had been created by different types of deposits made by the members. We had guided MSW students of Netaji Subhas Open University for the preparation of their Project work in the area of Child Labour and Crèche.
In 2010-11, AICURD participated in a Fair organized at Madrasa Maidan, Jalpaiguri and North Bengal Industrial Trade Fair near Sports Complex, Jalpaiguri. Alike previous year, AICURD organized “Jalpaiguri Sangeet Utsav 2010” colorfully at Rabindra Bhawan, Jalpaiguri from 24th to 2 6th December 2010. Seminar on “Youth, Media and Democracy” was conducted in different districts of West Bengal in a befitting manner.
SWAJAN, a retail handicraft outlet of AICURD, Jalpaiguri district unit with a moderate stock of different handicraft products being procured from SHG members whom AICURD has trained are sold being located in a prime place, Jalpaiguri.
In 2011-12, Department of Food Processing Industries, GOI, provided financial support for the establishment of an FPTC at CDC, Sealpara, Jalpaiguri to impart training to unemployed youth especially to SHG members. AICURD had also deployed a full time professional to look after the functioning of FPTC. Two EDP trainings were also conducted by AICURD for the PMEGP beneficiaries under the said scheme. AICURD coordinated with Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan in organizing “Youth Exchange Programme” which enabled a contingent of young boys and girls from Himachal Pradesh to visit Delhi. AICURD also participated at the Yuva Kriti, an annual event, organized by Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) in Delhi exhibiting Jute and Bamboo Products, made by the beneficiaries of AICURD, Jalpaiguri District Unit, West Bengal.
Three day long State Level Exhibition was also held at Delhi Haat, New Delhi, and was visited by great number of people and guests who flocked together at AICURD exhibition hall. AICURD conducted 7 day long National Integration Camp at Prabhu Narayan Hospital Auditorium, Khagaria, Bihar from 2nd to 8th December 2011 in collaboration with Nehru Yuva Kendra (NYK), Khagaria, Bihar.
In 2012-13, National Jute Board, Kolkata had accorded sanction to organize Jute based Programme for promoting Jute products with market oriented approach in a series of intervention. We conducted two Basic Training Programmes on Jute Bags and four Jute Handicrafts at Cooch Behar district, two on Jute Bags and one Advance Training Programme on Jute Handicrafts in Jalpaiguri district.
AICURD has been duly authorized to act as an agency for Micro Insurance from Life Insurance Corporation of India in the Delhi Region. Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Jalpaiguri conducted a Youth Leadership Training Programme for SHG members and Youth Club members.
Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Jalpaiguri an autonomous unit of AICURD organized a 5 day long capacity building workshop for its functionaries in collaboration with NYK, DRDC. During the year 2013-14, the All India Centre for Urban and Rural Development, District Unit, Patel Nagar, Kathua, J&K continued to strive towards realization of its goals through implementation of a wide range of programmes and activities i.e., three Craft Training Centres and one Type and Shorthand Training Centre for Schedule Castes peoples with the strength of Eighty beneficiaries/trainees in each centre. It continued to promote the projects taken up in the preceding years with the kind cooperation of the Social Welfare Department of Jammu and Kashmir Government as well as the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India (SCD-III).
AICURD State Unit Uttarakhand, organized a Plantation programme at Khansyu village of Okhalkanda block of Nainital District on the Environment Day (5th June 2013) in which students of our Institution took part. They have planted about 20 jungle trees at the river banks, at Khansyu. Student and staff celebrated the whole week as Environment Week (5th - 11th June 2013) at two districts Nainital and Bageshwar. 27 students, one staff and 3 member of Executive Committee took part in this plantation programme.
Environmental Awareness Programme ran throughout the week after the Environment Day on Shama village of Bhageshwar district and Khansyu village of Nainital. Member of Executive Committee organized Awareness Programme at schools. The topic of Awareness Programme was on Conservation of Environment, Biodiversity, Ecosystem and harms of Polyethylene (i.e., Carry Bags). This Awareness Programme benefitted about 300 students who also took part in a rally for Environment Awareness.
In 2014-15, NABARD funded AICURD, Uttarakhand, for the formation and bank linkage of the women self help groups. Initially AICURD Uttarakhand had taken the project of formation and bank linkage of women SHG at the Okhalkanda block of the Nainital district. The target was100 women SHGs at this block, which it achieved, this is quite gladdening as Okhalkanda is one of the remotest blocks of Nainital.
AICURD, Uttarakhand State Unit had also provided Computer Education to students of Khansyu village of Okhalkanda block (Nainital) covering 100 students in the field of basic computer education. AICURD District Unit, Kathua, could cover 320 beneficiaries in its three Craft Training Centres and one Type and Shorthand Centre. AICURD, Jalpaiguri district, Unit, introduced two more courses on Tally ERP 9.2 and Desk Top Publishing (DTP) for the students to improve their knowledge in computerized accounts and also design. AICURD is also functioning as an authorized Training Institute affiliated by Mahamta Gandhi Youth Computer Training Centre and is also conducting one year diploma course consisting of two semesters. District Health and Family Welfare Society, Jalpaiguri has awarded 4 Rogi Sahayak Kendras to AICURD in Jalpaiguri district and 2 in Alipurduar district for providing patient care service in the respective blocks.
In 2016, in the Delhi, Headquarter unit of AICURD, TAPASYA - The Teaching Unit of AICURD was launched under which a free Computer Training Centre was started in the month of February, primarily for Economically Weaker Sections of the Society. In its first year of being, it has trained about 90 students in Basics of Computer Applications. In November 2016, it has also started a Spoken English Course, equipped with a Digital English Language Lab, under a subsidized fee, to ensure quality skill development to masses. To sum up, AICURD is steadfastly pursuing its goal towards improving the quality of life of marginalized sections of population in both urban and rural areas and for this purpose various projects have been undertaken to translate its dream into reality.
“Woods are lovely dark and deep
But I have promises to keep And
miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep”
- Robert Frost
Our journey continues....