The Nari Niketan Trust was formed by Late Sh. Avtar Narain Gujral and Late Smt. Pushpa Gujral in response to the need for a safe home for many women after the carnage of Partition.
Before independence, Sh. Avtar Narain Gujral and Smt. Pushpa Gujral were freedom fighters in Jhelum, (modern day) Pakistan. Both were Gandhian in their outlook, and were incarcerated in various prisons by the British for long periods in the 1930s and 1940s. The family home played host to a number of national leaders, including Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru and Smt. Indira Gandhi.
In early 1947, Avtar Narain Gujral was elected to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. Sadly, within days of India attaining independence, the amputation of the country led to a rise of violence and suffering beyond measure. In the months that followed, Avtar Narain Gujral sent his family to India, and was involved in trying to create safe passage for women and children from Pakistan to India, a task in which his son Shri Satish Gujral, the renowned artist, was also actively involved.
Upon arriving in India, Avtar Narain Gujral and Pushpa Gujral settled in Jalandhar, and dedicated themselves to the development and reconstruction of Punjab. Millions had to be cared for and rehabilitated. The Gujral family put their heart and soul into this humanitarian relief work.
Nari Niketan was borne from their efforts to provide a safe and comfortable home for women had been widowed or abandoned as a result of Partition, many of whom also had children with them. The institution evolved into an orphanage that has placed hundreds of children in loving homes over the years, and is a household name in Jalandhar. It has been visited by a number of Presidents and Prime Ministers of India over the years.
After Avtar Narain Gujral passed away in 1979, a high school named after him was formed, which continues to provide quality education to the underprivileged children of Jalandhar. Pushpa Gujral, who was lovingly called Mataji by everyone at Nari Niketan, passed away in 1988, having spent even her final years dedicated to the Trust. Their son, Shri I.K. Gujral, subsequently ran the Trust till 1997.
Today the Trust, under the guidance of its President, Shri Naresh Gujral (MP Rajya Sabha), continues to maintain and increase its area of service.