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Amarpurkashi Project in India: History

Mukat and Jyoti Singh

the founder of the project, Mukat Singh, and his wife Jyoti

Society for Agro-Industrial Education in India - a history

Amarpurkashi is a small village in the block of Baniakhera, District Moradabad, U.P., India. It is the birthplace of the founder of the project, Mukat Singh, who, in July 1970, established a development project under the auspices of the Society for Agro-Industrial Education in India.

In 1970 the village was a very different place from what it is now. There was just one electricity connection but it was rare indeed for any electricity to come. A large mango grove separated the village from the main road where only one local bus would stop for passengers. There were six brick buildings in the whole village, 5 handpumps and one small government primary school. Rates of literacy, infant and child mortality and unemployment were extremely poor. And within a distance of just a few miles there were a dozen other small villages in the same or an even worse position.

Mukat Singh came from a typical poor village family. He attended the village primary school and wanted to go on to middle school, the nearest one being in Bilari, four miles away. His father did not believe in education and would not allow him to go so he repeated the final year of primary school but this time in Urdu and worked in the fields. The following year, another village boy started attending middle school in Bilari and Mukat Singh’s father reluctantly allowed him to go too. After that, however, he put his foot down and Mukat got a job as a clerk with the sugar-cane co-operative society. Then came the news that he had topped the district in the board exams and been awarded a scholarship. After that, although his father always opposed him, with the help of further scholarships and the encouragement of his teachers, Mukat Singh slowly but steadily educated himself until he had obtained his master’s degree in mathematics.

For six years he taught at an intercollege in Ghaziabad but never forgot his rural roots and regularly returned to the village. He was responsible for the first bus stop by the road, a sub post office and numerous other small but significant improvements. He wanted to do a lot more but did not know exactly how or what. With the help of a generous friend, he went to England where he taught and studied for six years before returning to his birthplace to put all his knowledge, experience and ideas into action.

The early years were a tremendous struggle. There was never enough money and few people understood what he was trying to achieve. They thought he was mad to give up a comfortable life in the West. But with the unfailing support of his wife and a few friends, he battled on until eventually his dreams became a reality.

Progress Reports for previous years

progress report for 2011-12.

progress report for 2010-11.

progress report for 2009-10.

progress report for 2008-9.

progress report for 2007-8.

progress report for 2006-7.

progress report for 2005-6.

Back to Amarpurkashi Project - Overview.