Mass Education was founded by a group of 7 passionate rationalists led by Mr. Khasimpeera, Ms. Suryakumari and Mr. N.S.Bedi in the year 1980.
The idea of starting Mass Education was to work among the rural poor for making them conscious of the socio-economic realities and assist them to resolve their problems on their own. The founders of Mass Education believe that social awareness and organisation of the poor is a prerequisite for developing and liberating them from exploitation and dependency.
To materialise the above idealism, Mass Education started working just in 5 villages in the beginning with a team of 5 members where as now it is working in about 200 villages with a 92 member team.
During 1980s it focussed mainly on the social discrimination issues related to Dalits (Scheduled Castes), in 1990s it also started working on the issues related to gender discrimination and environmental degradation and in 2000 it included the Marginalised Muslims as one of the target groups. The organisation has also started working on HIV /AIDS from 2005 onwards.
Though there is shift in its focus and approach, basing on the changing ground realities, the main target groups have always been the extremely marginalised sections of the society like dalits, rural labour, women, poor peasantry, child labour, HIV prone populations like sex workers etc.
Apart from its main working villages, Mass Education has been active at the district level and initiated number of collective developmental activities in the area of environment, women, and Muslim Minorities in collaboration with other voluntary organisations. It has played active role in the formation of an environment networks such as Ananta Paryavarana Parirakshana Samiti (APPS) in the year 1992, Mission for Marginalised Muslims (MMM) in the year 1999, Mahila Ikya Vedika (2002) and Voluntary Action Network Anantapur (VANA) in the year 1996. Mass Education has also actively participated in the process of promoting environmental Networks in Kadapa, Chittoor and Kurnool districts.
It has also played an important role in the promotion of state level networks such as, APWN (Andhra Pradesh Women’s Network), DAMM (Development Action for Marginalised Muslims) and FANSA (Fresh Water Action Network in South Asia).