Pages from History : 6 June, 1844: Formation of YMCA

6 June, 1844:  Formation of Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA).

The Young Men’s Christian Association was founded in London, England, on June 6, 1844, in response to unhealthy social conditions arising in big cities at the end of the Industrial Revolution (roughly 1750-1850). Growth of the railroads and centralization of commerce and industry brought many rural young men in need of jobs to cities like London.

They worked 10 to 12 hours a day, six days a week. Far from home and family, these young men often lived at the workplace. They slept crowded into rooms over the company’s shop, a location thought to be safer than London’s tenements and streets. Outside the shop, things were bad -open sewers, pickpockets, thugs, beggars, drunks, lovers for hire and abandoned children running wild by the thousands.

In India, YMCA was introduced in the last quarter of the 19th century. National Council of YMCA’s in India was established in 1891.

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