ASK was conceptualized by a group of young social development professionals in the year 1993, as an organization that would work for the interest of the marginalized sections. The vision of these professionals was forming an institution for capacity building of the various stakeholders of the civil society for more effective use of the present resources.
This, it was visualized, would be done by sensitizing and building the capacities on social issues of the various development players.
ASK began to work actively from the year 1994 by reaching out to Community Based Organizations (CBOs), and NGOs. The beginning was humble yet ambitious, with no assured support but with a desire to make meaningful contribution in the lives of the people and earn a significant position for ASK as an institution. The beginning was made with providing training support to NGOs and development projects and conducting evaluation and documentation assignments. These initiatives were financially supported by the clients themselves, bringing in high degree of accountability towards the clients. ASK consciously avoided approaching any donor for meeting its financial needs.
Some of our earliest clients were Uttranchal Youth and Rural Development Centre (UYRDC) in Chamoli district of Uttranchal in India, Indo Canadian Agriculture Extension Project in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan Agricultural Drainage Research Project.
Branching out and the present reach
The reach of ASK has steadily expanded over the years. The contacts and work with NGOs and CBOs today is spread throughout India and also in countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, and Thailand.
Within India, ASK has worked with NGOs and development projects in all the regions of the country including the North East Indian states. The profile of NGOs with whom ASK has worked is also varied ranging from service delivery to rights based organizations as well as grassroots level organizations to national and international organizations.
Soon in its efforts, ASK realized that it is important to reach out to other major players as well in the development of the society, including the Government, Development Aid agencies and the corporate sector so as to influence them towards socially responsible development. Today, ASK very actively works with all these stakeholders through its dedicated Program Divisions.