ATGHARA JYOTI MOHILA UDYOG (AJMU), an NGO which is solely run by women, has its roots in the founder Smt. Nurani Islam’s residence where she started her humble tailoring center in 1992 with only three underprivileged women students. With the passage of time, the number of students enrolling in her tailoring center started increasing by leaps and bounds and so did the number of tailoring training centers under her supervision. She decided to impart training to these underprivileged women under a banner. When asked to suggest a name for her organization, her learned father very aptly named it JYOTI MOHILA UDYOG after his daughter’s name “Nurani” which means “Jyoti” or light .Though the first step taken by her towards self-empowerment stemmed from a dire need to financially support her family, her benevolent nature eventually prompted her to think of the welfare of hundreds which has now scaled to several thousands of women, of the economically deprived class. She was awarded the honor of brave woman in West Bengal by NAOW (NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF WOMAN) in 1999. In the award ceremony, she was initiated into the concept of SHG (SELF HELP GROUPS) and thereafter with great zeal she implemented the concept of SHG in her neighborhood at ATGHARA near Chinar Park, Kolkata -700136. So, the name of the area ATGHARA was added to the existing name of the NGO, JYOTI MOHILA UDYOG and the NGO got registered in 2006 under West Bengal Societies Registration Act of 1961 as ATGHARA JYOTI MOHILA UDYOG or AJMU.
In her long and arduous journey which spans 28 years, Mrs. Nurani has been the trailblazer for many unprivileged women who before empowerment by way of AJMU, had been groping in grim despair. She is the messiah of these women, who, she has not only rescued from the throes of injustice but has also empowered them to such an extent that each one of them is now like a candle illuminating at least a few more lives in touch with them. Her AJMU continues to march ahead with diligence and conviction.
AJMU’s Initial Focus Was On Two Important Socio-Economic Factors
1) Empowerment of the local underprivileged women by imparting them vocational training.
2) Providing essential education to the children of the downtown areas for building their future and for enabling them to enjoy the basic human rights.
As of date AJMU is working in 75 villages under 4 blocks and 3 districts. It is running 1324 SHG groups comprising of 13242 members and 19 tailoring centers. Apart from imparting training in the nuances of tailoring and giving micro credit to the women beneficiaries, the NGO works to build capacity of the SHG members, engages them in income generating activities and also tries to improve the quality of their life by teaching them about things like hygiene and sanitation, so that they in turn can teach their family to lead a better and a more decent life. To be very precise, AJMU works for implementing an integrated community development project which involves both interconnected and independent sectors and the modus operandi of the NGO has been formulated keeping in view the following objectives:
- Capacity build-up
- Livelihood formation
- Livelihood sustainability
- Enterprise formation
- Enterprise development