My Mentor's Story
An exceptionally self-effacing social worker who shuns publicity despite his phenomenal services to the elderly in India. He is my mentor Prof. T.K. Nair. He pioneered services for the betterment of the life of India's aged, but remains incognito without seeking any recognition of his work. At a time when the only form of service for the aged in the country was old age homes, he initiated community-based elder care services like day centres, self employment through skill upgradation, family counselling, geriatric social work in hospitals, domiciliary health care, etc.For this purpose he founded the Centre for the Welfare of the Aged (CEWA) in 1979, when I was not even born. The newly established Helpage India in 1978 extended funding support.
CSR in India has evolved from merchant philanthropy to social development oriented activities by companies. But CSR has always been discretionary in nature by the corporate organizations. Some companies have been outstanding in the CSR domain, while many companies involved themselves in CSR activities for image building. Yet many companies were unconcerned about their social obligations. The new Companies Act of 2013 made CSR mandatory for a class of companies effective from April 2014. This article discusses the CSR legislation of the government of India and its implications.
The main inspiration for the introduction of the formal training for social work come to this country from the West, especially the United States, when the first training institute was established in 1936 under the directorship an American. The program of education has basically three components: classroom courses, research project and field work. The objectives of professional education currently are to prepare the type and quality of man power capable of performing the professional tasks and functions currently being performed by variety of organizations employing social workers.
Environment Conservation: Social Worker as a Catalyst of Sustainable Development (Some Observations)
Earth provides enough to satisfy everyman’s needs
but not to every man’s greed
Social Work Profession, over a period of time has undergone and still is undergoing changes in its philosophy, approaches and ethics. Its goal of addressing the problems of individuals, group, community and society at large is being addressed in a variegated manner in keeping with changing scenario of present times and in view of changing complexity of problems. One such new dimension is to understand the desirability and possibility of associating problems of human beings vis-s-vis physical environment. Environmental Social Work is an emerging field, as social workers like other environmentalists can work towards addressing the problems confronted by human beings as a consequence of environmental degradation and other related issues. The author, in this paper has attempted to understand this emerging field and briefly deliberated on the role of Social Workers in this field.
A vision driven life adds meaning and process for fulfilment in life. Added to this if the two individuals married and working together are social entrepreneurs the challenges and path so formed can be very interesting and more fulfilling. This is an article written to share an experience of living and working together; emerging from social work background and contributing to the world in terms of concepts, processes, tools and techniques. It also outlines the key foundational elements and the learning of over two decades of life which can be left behind for the youngsters who are contemplating the same.
Gender Discrimination at Workplace
The term gender discrimination and sexual harassment at workplace was constructed from the view of women. The legal protection to women at workplace has been formulated at the block, district and national level for the organized as well as unorganized sector. The majority of working women are not aware of the legal protection issues. International Conventions and issues related to gender discrimination and sexual harassment at workplace has been discussed along with social work intervention.
We live in a world that is increasingly interconnected through the processes of globalization. The processes are bringing together people from many different cultures and the interactions that take place can often lead to conflict if not managed properly. Further, globalization can also lead to increasing marginalization of the weaker sections of society and conflicts around basic resources such as water and food. In this paper, the role that community development can play as an effective response to some of the negative impacts of globalization is examined. It is argued that traditional forms of community development have to be critically examined in the light of new and emerging forms of community and that more inclusive forms of community development have to be developed. The model of culturally competent community development is suggested as an effective approach in this context.
Keywords: Community Development, Globalization, Culture, Cultural Competency.
Life Education and Social Commitment
Social work begins from home, is learnt in school and expands in life. Unfortunately education today has compromised the need to develop strong individuals with values and clarity who feel responsible for society and themselves. The need of the hour is ‘Life education’ and just not ‘Life skills’. The paper elaborates on the ingredients that go into building evolutionary excellence amongst students based on experiential research with children between 10 to 16 years in Bangalore city. The module is built on Learning–Doing–Integrating and teaching children deeper reflection process. The highlight of the program is SAP – social action project that children undertake in tenth grade.
What helps people cope with disaster? What aids in their recovery? What factors support capacity for individuals and communities to build positive futures ‘out of the ashes’?(Pulla, 2013).
In an era of economic rationalism and individualist political ideology, resilience has become the catchcry for the contemporary social work. The advanced capitalist system has brought seemingly endless challenges, a faster pace of life, displacement from familial structure and a globalised world where cultural boundaries have been transformed. In this globalised world the onus is on the individual to survive and to succeed. Coping and resilience have become the seminal concepts for social work in the quest for continuing work with people, groups and communities within a system that promotes personal responsibility and a reduced welfare state. Perspectives on Coping and Resilience is an inspirational text for social work as we endeavour to adapt to the challenges that contemporary life provides.
We make decisions every day, large and small, some of which have life altering consequences. Yet our choices are not irrelevant. The question always has been: how can we discern the course to be run? The values of family, friends and mentors and Faith point us to the realisation that what matters most in life is all wrapped up in people.
The ability to look beyond our disappointments is essential for our life and living. The way we discern our course of action - irrespective of the area of our vocation - can leave a deep imprint in the minds of some people and in the hearts of most people. The way I perceived, understood, practiced, taught and conceptualised social work revolves around this life changing choices. The lesson from my parents has always been ‘get involved where ever you are and in whatever condition you may enter into’.
Let Us Bring Back ‘Field’ to Fieldwork: An Overview of the Current Scenario of Fieldwork in Social Work Education in India
Field education has always been an integral component of social work education, recognized as having a major impact on graduates’ preparation for professional practice.
- Wayne, Raskin & Bogo, 2006:161.
Fieldwork in social work education is considered as its “signature pedagogy” and much has been written about its indispensability. Though all the social work educators accept it in principle, when it comes to practice, most often the quality of fieldwork training offered to the student leaves much to be desired. This situation needs to be corrected by taking urgent steps for achieving excellence in social work practice.
Social Policy, Social Welfare and Social Development-Pathak’s Ideas: A Critical Essay
‘We spent all our time trying to get the policy right, we should have spent more time trying to get the politics right’ (Obama, 2012)
Any discussion around India’s Social Policy, Social Welfare and Social Development ought to be laid in the context of India’s sixty years of planning history. In this critical essay, I explore the views and treatise of octogenarian Shankar Pathak on social welfare policies and development of the poor in India. In those sixty years of planning, India has certainly made strides, such as producing some billionaires that enter into who’s who list compiled by Forbes, alongside its poor making world’s record officially included into the top ten poor nations. India’s situation can be aptly captured and surmised by borrowing the famous saying of American Political Economist ‘doing better but feeling worse’ ( Wildavsky, 1977, pp 105), this paper examines Pathak’s (2013) views on social policy, welfare and social development in India and to an extent his views on social work profession in India.
Pathak, S, (2013), Social Policy Social Welfare and Social Development, Niruta Publications, Bangalore, India, ISBN-
Abuse of alcohol has become a serious public health and socio economic problem in Indian villages. Treatment services are neither available nor affordable. Keeping this in mind TTK Hospital has developed a cost effective community approach of treatment with the involvement of the community. The organization has been conducting six camps each year for the past 25 years.
SHG and Women Empowerment
This article is about the evolution of SHGs in the country and the resultant benefits for the under-served population, especially for women. The SHGs have acquired the status of a movement in India, within a span of three decades, thanks to the sustained efforts of the NGOs, NABARD and the State Governments. SHGs from the simple savings and credit groups have evolved as village levelcommunity based organizations not only to take care of the financial needs of the marginalised communities but also to access various community infrastructures and amenities. This was possible by a process oriented approach. Yet, in recent times, most of the SHGs are targeted by the professional micro finance institutions/agencies (MFIs) for credit delivery, banking on its good repayment history. This massive invasion of MFIs has undermined the habit of regular savings, internal rotation of funds and book keeping, which were the mainstay of SHGs. This is a worrying trend, as SHGs become a target, ignoring the fact that it was a product of process.
Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Another popular definition of Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal (Northouse’s (2007, p3). Good leaders are made not born. If you have desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader .Good leaders develop through a never ending process of self study, education, training and experience (jago1982).
Education is been considered as an effective tool of change. It is alleged that with qualitative education one can change his or her realities of life. Social work claims that it helps people to change their situations from bitter to better and work for inclusive policy, social justice and social development. After seven decades of its journey, social work still lag behind to lead people in difficult circumstances. In these decades the issues raised by developmental decisions of Indian government have put major changes needed in social work education and practice. There are theories, approaches in social work we are imparting but what is needed today is a competence. Competence is something which will make social work students to lead people’s issues. It seems that competence based education and fieldwork is dire need to resolve the crisis in social work. This reflective article is an attempt to line up the current scenario, dilemmas, new demands posed by new era of social work.
Key words: leadership, competence, crisis, operationalizing, social work.
Author: Gijubhai Badheka (1885-1939)
Publisher: Prakashan Samsthan, 1999
No. of pages book contains: 87
Price of the book: Rs.100.00
Divaswapna is a story, written by Gujarat’s famous educationist and teacher, Gijubhai Badheka (1885-1939). The same year, Kashinath Trivedi, the well-known educationist of Madhya Pradesh, took the initiative to publish Divaswapna in Hindi. Trivediji had learnt from Gandhi that right action requires untiring patience for its success. His dream of seeing Gijubhai’s writings on education widely disseminated has come a little closer to fulfillment today. But the dream of bringing about a change in education can materialize only after a prolonged struggle along the line in which Gandhi, Tagore, and Gijubhai had moved. The educational theory propounded by all three of them emphasizes the child’s need for an atmosphere of independence and self-reliance. Gijubhai gave ’this idea an institutional basis by establishing his Bal Mandir in 1920, and in his writings he identified the different facets of the idea.
People Centered Advocacy: An Effective Tool for Promoting Marginalized Leadership
Public and people-centered advocacy are shaped by the political culture, social systems, and constitutional framework of the country in which they are practiced. It is the practice of advocacy that determines the theory, and not vice a versa. If advocacy is not rooted in grassroots realities and is practiced only at the macro level, the voice of the marginalized is increasingly likely to be appropriated by professional elites. However, the very credibility of advocacy practitioners depends on their relationship with mass-based movements and grassroots perceptions of what constitutes desirable social change.
Sixty Years of Social Work Education in Tamilnadu – The Need for Impact Assessment
The largest single stakeholder in social work education is the State, for it spends crores of rupees in salary and maintenance grants supporting such instruction in schools of social work and departments attached to government colleges and private ones across the length and breadth of the State. How does this education benefit the common man, the poor, the needy, the physically and mentally challenged? It is the primary responsibility of the State to find this out. The present paper seeks to provide a broad outline of the areas to be explored through the proposed venture.
Mobilizing Local Resources as a Catalyst in Community Development – A Case Study of Kudumbasree Units in Kerala
One of the sustaining elements of communitarian social work is the meaningful involvement of the people who are supposed to benefit from the collective effort. A community that has the right orientation, has multiple sets of skills to see through their own process of development, has a better chance of sustaining community work in its development. Community-based programmes and SHGs are important components of the neighborhoods, villages, towns and cities in which they operate. Such groups can improve the quality of life within their communities by responding to local needs, providing new solutions to problems which may be quite old. The indicator that such groups meet local needs is their ability to mobilize people and resources within the community.
“We live in times of crisis and uncertainty, but times of crisis are also times of opportunity, and in uncertain times the impossible can become merely difficult, and the difficult can become feasible.” (Ife, 2003,p.7)
This paper is based on field experience. Disasters, natural or man-made, affect the lives of individuals, families and communities. Drawing on field experiences both from India and Australia, the author illustrates various phases and social processes that the communities go through to re-establish a sense of community following disaster. Drawing from personal experiences and associations with various disasters like, Bhopal Gas tragedy (India,1984),Gujarat earthquake(India,2001), fire, frost, floods, and drought (South Australia, 2006), and recent Cyclone Yasi (Queensland Australia, 2011), the author examines the relevance of the conceptof community development. Response to natural disasters occurs from various corners of the society. In this article, highlighting the community recovery work initiated by someschools of social work in India, the author discusses the relevance of community development education in social work and implications for practice in a global context. This paper was originally presented at the international conference on Eco-social Justice: Issues, challenges, and ways forward:Kerala,India,in November 2011.
Key words: Natural Disasters, Community, Recovery, Resilient Community, Social Work Education.
Advancement of medical sciences have influenced significantly on the lives of people, it broadened the scope for well being, improved the quality and expectancy of life. A large number of health problems and diseases are under control through the improvement of medical technology. Emergence of medical technology for human organ transplantation is one of the crucial steps in the journey of sustaining health, and life. Even the technology is advanced in regard with the organ transplantation but the non availability of the organs always constrained the process.
This paper describes the findings from a preliminary study conducted in five districts in Tamil Nadu, South India throughout 2009-2010. The objective was to determine the conditions necessary to conduct a health survey to examine socioeconomic factors, interrelatedness to health status and quality of life of children and mothers. Results suggest that social service organizations have the potential to improve the health status and quality of life of children and mothers in Tamil Nadu and a health survey is feasible. Implications and recommendations for conducting international preliminary studies are discussed in relation to the findings.
Key words: international collaborative research, children & mothers, social work practice with communities, community development.
Community Based Psychosocial Support Programme for Resiliency Building in Tsunami Rehabilitation of Kanyakumari District
Social work as a profession is having an essential empowering agenda in different field of interventions. While focusing on empowerment it becomes obvious to look for sustainability by building resiliency. Considering the ‘capabilities-based’ approach of Sen (1999) and Nussbaum (2001) that focused on interventions for the people living in unprecedented difficulties, it is evident to work for resiliency building during disaster interventions for the survivors. Disaster intervention is a continuum that includes capacity building, community mobilization and ensuring sustainability by strengthening individual initiatives, rebuilding social support mechanism, and ultimately facilitating resiliency building through series of psychosocial support activities.
Ever growing urban amalgamations attract people from other geographical regions as an attractive employment destination. Most of these migrants lack skill or education or both in securing a job in formal / organized sector. Also, in densely populated cities, many inmates face the problem of unemployment due to various reasons. Some of these reasons encourage men and women to take up vending on streets. Historically, street vending has been a part of our culture and tradition. During the time of Krishna Deva Raya, in Vijayanagar Empire, street vending included selling of gold and silver articles. In the recent times, street vending includes selling of eatables, vegetables and fruits, toys, cloth, woolen carpets and even electronic goods. Street vendors form an integral part of our socio – cultural and economic life. Reports indicate that,street vendors constitute approximately 2 per cent of the population of a metropolis and they contribute significantly to economy. But, it is difficult to get a precise measure of population of street vendors and their contribution to economy.
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