National Development Foundation (NDF) Jammu J&K, formerly known as Modern Cultural Club (MCC) was setup on 7th September 1992 at Rajouri in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to bring together the young to create a movement for change. Given its increasing scope and outreach over the years, it was decided to change the nomenclature from Modern Cultural Club to National Development Foundation in May 2011 to better capture the range of our work as a development organization. Simultaneously, NDF shifted its headquarters from Rajouri to Jammu in 2010, keeping in view the need to be centrally located since its activities now extended across the districts of the state. NDF was the brain child of its Founder Emeritus, Rajiv Khajuria, who, with a group of 20 young boys and girls in the small border town of Rajouri district, launched Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha campaign to work in 45 border and conflict-affected villages of Rajouri in 1992.
Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha aimed at making the rural populace aware of their rights, impeding superstitions and was set-up in collaboration with Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (an autonomous body under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India), and supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. This was launched at a time when communal conflicts had broken out in the country and the team comprising of different communities resolved to promote the needs and benefits of communal harmony and peace. The successful completion of BJVJ established this Group as a prominent organisation with wider acceptability operating in Pir Panchal range.The organisation was registered under J&K Societies Registration Act in December 1994. This vibrant group of Children and youth both Males and females succeeded in getting support of prominent academicians, Lawyers, Businessmen, Government officers and the society as a whole from all the areas of Pir Panchal region which gave strength to the organisation.
Initially the activities of the organisation were supported by NYK, District Administration, Local businessmen, civil society activists and leading educational institutions. With the dedication and hard work of the organisation, under the visionary schematic planning of its founder, it got support from Various Ministries of Govt of India and State Govt. With the passage of time NDF succeeded in involving the children, youth and women of border, conflict affected and topographically toughest areas in developmental initiatives irrespective of any difference. This informal youth group initially began by carrying out short street plays, debates, sports activities etc with the support of local communities to make them aware about their rights and entitlements under various government programmes. It also, in the process, endeavored to demystify dogmas and superstitious, imparting leadership skills through the arts/theatre, capacity-building and leadership workshops and community engagement initiatives with the overall objective to promote communal harmony in the district, especially during civil strife. Because the state is often racked by civil strife or militant activities, NDF volunteers worked to unite communities - particularly children, youth and women - in constructive developmental activities to ensure they continue to be in the National mainstream.
NDF today is vibrant civil society organization which enjoys the trust and support of local communities, various State and Central Government ministries, academicians, lawyers, businessmen, Government agencies and the society at-large. However, the youth continue to be key actors as NDF works for the positive development of communities in some of the toughest terrains in the state: international and Actual Line of Control (India-Pakistan) border areas, conflict-affected or topographically challenged areas or in remote/isolated communities. As a result of its commitment and outreach, NDF was awarded the Best NGO in the state in 1996-1997 by Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), Ministry of Youth Affairs Government of India. NDF is best known not only for its proven credibility, leadership and innovative community action programs, but is also recognized as one of the largest voluntary organisation in the state with a grass roots presence and acceptance across all communities, irrespective of faith, caste, or ethnic identity. Its programmes are facilitated by professionals and experts so that beneficiaries have a powerful voice and the knowledge and resources to use that voice to create positive change in both their lives and in their communities.