Gram Niyojan Kendra (GNK) was set up in 1976 by a group of eminent Gandhians and activists, who believed in Gandhiji’s philosophy for change and development. The group comprised Late Shri Radhakrishna, Late Shri L.C. Jain, Late Satish Chandra (Retired as Chief Secretary Uttar Pradesh), and the young husband-wife team of Prof. K.K. Mukherjee and Dr.(Mrs.) Sutapa Mukherjee.
The motivating factors that promoted the vision for Gram Niyojan Kendra were the transformative forces that were sweeping the country during those days, which focussed on voluntary action and the realization of the needs of voluntary organisations engaged in rural development lacking any skill and knowledge but set up with the desire to bring about change.
The founding members of Gram Niyojan Kendra were affiliated with Gandhi Peace Foundation, a premier organisation that worked towards strengthening organizations engaged in rural development work across the country.
The Kendra was registered in January 1977 with Late Satish Chandra, I.C.S as Chairperson, Prof. K.K. Mukherjee as the Secretary and Dr.(Mrs.) Sutapa Mukherjee, as the program coordinator.
The Managing Committee that served as the guiding force included members like Shri Radhakrishna (Secretary Gandhi Peace Foundation) Karan Bhai (Director, Shri Gandhi Ashram), Ch. Bhagwant Singh (Agriculture Production Commissioner, Government of U.P) , Dr. Ram Das (Director, Institute of Planning and Training, Government of U.P.), Prem Bhai (Secretary, Banwasi Sewa Ashram and also Jamnalal Bajaj award winner) and Prof. K.D. Gangrade (Retd Professor Delhi School of Social Work).