BPHES’ CSRD ISWR, Ahmednagar
Report of 2nd Indian Social Work Congress
Social Justice and Social Work Profession in India
19 – 21 December, 2014
Indian Social Work Congress (ISWC) is an initiative of National Association of Professional Social Workers in India (NAPSWI). The first ISWC was held at University of Delhi in 2013. In continuation of this, NAPSWI organized the second ISWC jointly with BPHES’ Centre for Studies in Rural Development (CSRD) Institute of Social Work and Research (ISWR) and Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU). The Second Indian Social Work Congress was held at Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune on 19th to 21st December 2014. The main purpose behind this conference was to bring fraternity of professional social workers together to discuss and deliberate upon the issues related to the social work education, practice and research in India. The Indian Social Work Congress aims to strengthen the social work profession to ensure social justice and human rights for all. A cursory review of recorded and published literature on the engagement of the social work profession reveals that there are substantial gaps with regard to its avowed goals. Besides, it is also felt that the profession has not been able to take cognizance of some of the challenges emanating out of the rapidly changing socio-economic milieu. In this context, Indian Social Work Congress decided to deliberate and record the response of the profession with regards to the emerging concerns. The event redrew the boundaries that should position the profession of the social work in the contemporary time. Social work profession’s response to the challenges in fast changing context has witnessed a shift from welfare to empowerment. The social work fraternity envisages challenging response to social realities vis-à-vis other stakeholders such as the civil society actors, funding organizations, the government, and the community based organizations as well as the people in general against this backdrop.
The theme for the second ISWC was Social Justice and Social Work Profession in India: The Challenging response and Responding Challenges. The ISWC aims at the achievement following objectives:
- To provide a platform to social work professionals to discuss and deliberate on the issues related to social justice, social work education, research and practice
- To deliberate upon the roles and responsibility of social work profession in the changing socio-political and economic context
- To share and exchange experience among social educators, researchers and practitioners in order to strengthen the social work profession
Considering these objectives the conference theme was divided into various sub-themes such as:
- Social Justice and Social Work Profession: Identifying Social Challenges and responses
- Social Work and Social Development in the Neo-liberal Economy
- Social Justice and Human Rights for Empowering People
- Civil Society, Democratic Space and Social Work Profession
- Building Bridges for Bridging Gaps
The conference received very overwhelming response from social work educators, practitioners and scholars. There were 40 papers presented in concurrent sessions. Altogether 11 plenary speakers presented their ideas during the congress.
The 2nd Indian Social Work congress began on 19th December 2014 at 11.00 a.m. The congress started with the inaugural function held at the Namdev Sabhagriha of Savitribai Phule Pune Unviersity, Pune. Prof. P Balgopal, Prof. Raosaheb Kale, Dr. V.B. Gaikwad, Dr. Vijay Khare. Prof. Sanjai Bhatt, Dr. Ranjana Saigal and Dr. Suresh Pathare were the eminent people who addressed the gathering during the opening session. Dr. Ranjana Saigal welcomed the guests of honour. Dr. Suresh Pathare narrated the background of the conference in which he spoke about the aims and objectives of the congress. Prof. Sanjai Bhatt announced NAPSWI life time achievement awards to four outstanding social work professionals. The first award was given to Prof. Shanti Khinduka in the category of Indian contribution to social work education abroad. The second award was given to Mr. Sharad Joshi for excellent work as social work practitioner. The third award was given to Dr. K K Singh for contributing to social work profession by various associations and fourth award was given to Prof. Surinder Jaiswal for contributing in social work education in India.
Inaugural address was given by Prof. Balgopal in which he talked about the social work education and the challenges before the social work education and profession. Following him Dr. Kale acknowledge the efforts of social work professionals and social work educators for being agents of the social change. At the end of the opening session, Dr. Sanjai Bhatt proposed the vote of thanks and the delegates disbursed for lunch.
Technical sessions of the first day of Indian Social Work Congress, 19th December 2014
Session 1 Plenary (2.30 to 4.00 p.m.)
After the lunch, the first plenary session was held at Namdev Sabhagriha at 2.30 p.m. The session was chaired by Prof. R B S Verma. Prof. S. M. Sajid addressed the congress in which he talked about the quality of social work education in India. He focused on the status of the social work institutions in India. Several pertinent issues concerning social work profession were presented and discussed during the session. The role of social work profession is varied ranging from remedial to curative, preventive, developmental, radical and transformational. Journey of the profession started as a healing profession and now it has embraced the transformational dimension of the work. In this context, there is an emerging need to make the linkages between micro to macro levels of social work. In transformational social work, Social justice should be at central idea of social work profession. Vulnerability of the people has more and more been exposed today. Lakhs of people are homeless. Due to acute poverty many people are struggling for survival. It poses the challenge to the social work profession. It creates the question in the mind that, are we doing justice with the profession?
Every profession has its own distinctive characteristics. We need to do a lot of introspection. There are too many challenges and too much complexity. Every profession has its own limitations. Social work profession has to strive to identify the limitations.
The concept of social justice is vague in nature it is about promoting equality, inequality, liberty and freedom the profession tries to minimize the inequality. Everybody deserves social, economic opportunities. Principles of profession are Social justice and liberation by which it can bring structural change. The change can be taken place by invoking political processes. Social workers challenge social injustice. Change process should focus on removing injustice. There should be meaningful participation of the community in decision making. Need to relook at changes taking place in the society.
Skills required for the radical and structural practice, macro practice, policy analysis and advocacy should be promoted. The methods of case work and group work were given much importance in the past and these were kept to the centre of social work. But, seldom have these methods addressed the issues of social justice. On the other hand social action, though considered as the secondary method of social work practice, can contribute to the attainment of social justice. Fundamental question remaining before us is quality of life to people who are poor.
Two years master program has very little space for social justice in the curriculum. Doubt is that whether social work profession can bring the change in the society by delivering social justice but the profession has potentials to bring the change. The profession plays the role of catalyst and tries to harmonies collective voice. In recent times, lots of human right issues are taking place. Since human right plays an important role in social work profession, curriculum of human right should be considered into the social work profession.
It was stated by the plenary speaker that Amartya Sen talked about injustice like homelessness; this issues should be at the centre of social work profession. There are several other issues that deserve the attention of social work profession. Internationally, the concern about growing violation of women’s rights resulted into the Beijing resolution.
In Indian Scenario right to information is still in its inception phase. Going with the spirit of law is important. Right to work, right to livelihood and right to development are important. It can work as instrument for social justice. MGNREGA ensures the right to work.
Right To Education Act was passed in 2009 but the government is trying to implement this Act without allocating the budget for the same. There is no provision for the recruitment of teachers. There is no accountability in it. Education is the powerful tool for improving the quality of life. As we will compare the government schools with the private schools, it gives clear picture about the plight of government schools. Why we as social workers are not trying to uniform the school systems? We need to work with government in this regard.
Ground realities should be changed in rural areas. There are not adequate toilets for the girls. Hygiene is badly missing in rural sector. People do not get safe drinking water. Why there is discrimination? It is multidimensional issue. Social work practitioners and educators need to do lot of introspection. We need to analyze the tools which we are using. Are they appropriate or not or can we change the tools which we are using?
Another major concern about the production of research based indigenous knowledge. There is lack of publications in social work profession and especially research based publications. It’s high time to bring the social workers and educators together. They need to make time-bound agenda for improving various quality aspects of the social work profession and social work practice.
Session 2 Concurrent (4.30 to 6.00 p.m.)
Following the plenary session, two concurrent sessions were held simultaneously in two seminar halls at the Environmental Study Centre, which is close to Namdev Sabhagriha at Savitribai Phule Pune University. At the seminar hall 1, the second technical session of the Indian Social Work congress was held. This session was chaired by Dr. B A Deshmukh. Four presenters presented their papers.
Mr. Rajendra Baikady presented his paper on Emerging areas of Social Work Education and Practice- a review. Mr. Baikady talked about the current situation of social work education in India. He said that there are 600 schools of social work in India which offer different specializations like, Human Resource Management, Health and Community Organisation. But there are other areas which need urgent attention. He reflected upon the emerging areas of practice such as public welfare, policy practice, rural social work, peace social work and rehabilitation social work. One of the participants raised question about the prioritizing the specialization as per contemporary needs.
The second Presentation was done by Dr. B. T. Lawani on Social Work and Sustainable Development in the Neo-Liberal Economy. In this presentation he focused on the concept of sustainable development. He suggested that there should be correlation between social, economic and environment development. He also said that there is need of changing the perspectives of social workers in order to equip with the changes in the socio-economic system. He further concluded that there is need to change the social work curriculum as per the need of the society.
Ms. Namita in her presentation on “Looking Inward, Looking Forward: 21st Century Challenges for social work professionals in India” reflected upon challenge of social work profession. She mentioned that social work has an identity crisis. She said that all is not lost. There are many things and interventions which are being done in social work field. She concluded that there is need to have proper certification and license for social workers in India.
The last presentation was made by Dr. Digvijoy Phukan on behalf of Dr. Md. Uzair on Employing Social Justice in Indian Elementary Education Curriculum through the lens of a social work perspective. In his paper he talked about the role of national curriculum framework for training teacher to ensure effectiveness in education system. The presenter shared his practical experiences of working with children. He concluded that social justice can be taught to children by sharing the experiences of people those have faced injustice in their life.
Session 3 Concurrent (4.30 to 6.00 p.m.)
In the second seminar hall, the third session of the Congress was held under the chairmanship of Dr. Bipin Jojo. There were three presentations in this session. Ms. Divya Kodoth presented her paper on “Ethics in Social Work Practice: Taking into Account Context specific decision making”. Presenter started with her dilemma about the values during her field interventions. She was reflecting on the dilemma between personal and professional values and ethics. Dr. Jaimon Varghese presented on Spiritually Sensitive Service: Lost and Found Areas of Social Work profession. In his presentation Dr. Varghese said that spirituality expressed through humanitarian service or charity had been the original inspiration for the growth and development of social work profession. This paper was based on empirical study conducted on trainee social workers. The main thrust area of this study was to know about the spiritual foundation of social work profession and how it is helping in addressing the oppression and challenges which are up-coming in the field of social work. The third presentation of the session was given by Mr. Vijay Sansare on Life Skill Orientation: A Missing Boat in Social Work Education. Mr. Sansare started his presentation with the conceptual understanding of the life skills and its relevance and importance in social work practice. He said that life skills help to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes. It also helps to modify the behavior according to culture and context.
By 6.00 p.m. all the sessions of the first day of the Congress came to an end.
Technical sessions of the second day of Indian Social Work Congress, 20th December 2014
Session 4 Plenary (8.30 – 10.00 a.m.)
The fourth technical session of the Congress was a plenary one which was held at 8.30 a.m. at Namdev Sabhagriha, at Savitribai Phule Pune University. Dr. Ranjana Saigal was the chairperson for this session. Prof. Venkat Pulla and Prof. S R Billore were the speakers for this session. Prof. Venkat Pulla talked about the strength based social work practice focusing on the building of the capacities of the client. Prof. S R Billore spoke about the Advocates of Social Justice: Victims of injustice? In his speech he spoke about the need of standardizing the social work education for bringing social justice in society. While discussing his topic he referred the theory of Justice coined by John Rawls.
Session 5 Concurrent (10.30 – 12.00 noon)
After this plenary session, there was another set of three concurrent sessions (5th, 6th and 7th) technical sessions of the congress). Session 5 was held in Seminar hall 1. Dr. R B S Verma was the chairperson for this session. Ms. Monalisha Roy, Mrs. Nagmani Rao, Bandana Meher and Neha Sathe presented their papers during the session. Ms. Monalisha Roy presented her paper on Discrimination faced by North East Indian Women in Ahmednagar city. Mrs. Nagmani Rao presented paper on Exclusion from governance: Obstacles to Women’s Leadership in Panchayats and Social Work Interventions. Ms. Bandana Meher presented her paper on Lost Assets of Family: Study on Aged Women from Old Age Homes and Neha Sathe presented her paper on Adolescence Adjustment Issues, Scholastic Performance and Areas of Social Work Interventions.
Session 6 Concurrent (10.30 – 12.00 noon)
In the second seminar hall, the technical session 6 was held simultaneously with the 5th and the 7th one. This session was started the opening remarks of chairperson Dr. Abraham Francins. Four presenters presented their papers during the session. The first presentation of the session was given by Ms. Reshma Dixit. She presented her paper on Lack of Access to Water and Sanitation: Its impact on Women in Slums of India. Ms. Dixit initially presented the scenario of slums in India and specifically in Delhi, provided global water status and water availability. Her presentation reflected on the water challenges in India. She said 70% of the country’s population drinks water contaminated with toxic bacteria and about 600,000 Indian children died of water borne diseases like diarrhea. She then discussed on the sanitation issues and its impact on women. The paper revealed that women who use open defecation are vulnerable to harassment and abuse. 72 % of the women had to walk long distance. The paper brought into the notice the impact of lack of sanitation on health and education. Following her, Ms. Sangeeta Khwaiarakpam discussed on “Stepping into the world of Urbanization – The case studies of women in Urban Slums in Delhi”. This paper examined the reason of being in the city, mechanism used by the women to adjust with the living conditions and social security of the city slums. The author also explored the awareness and level of participation of women in policy and programmes. It also brought out women’s economic empowerment and contribution to the society. In her presentation the speaker brought out the fact that women in slums are socially insecure. The third paper of the session was presented by Mr. Sanjay Kumar in which he focused on the issue of homelessness and their identity crisis. He began the presentation by explaining the experience of homelessness through a poem. According to him homelessness is manifestation of poverty, inability of schemes, and inability of governance. Presenter brought out the fact that homelessness is result of violation of human rights. According to him the main reason of homelessness is migration in the city. The fourth presentation of the session was given by Mrs. Snehal Divekar “on Role of rural women in water management”. The presenter began by linking the issue of water with women, as they are the user, manager and consumer of water. She brought out the relationship between education, water literacy and water management
Session 7 Concurrent (10.30 – 12.00 noon)
The 7th technical session of the Congress was held in the third seminar hall simultaneously with 5th and 6th sessions. Ms. Ritu Raj, Mrs. Neena Pandey and Dr. Shalini Pandey presented their papers. The session was chaired by Dr. S I Kumbhar. Ms. Ritu Raj presented her paper on Environment, Gender and Sustainable Development. She discussed critics of neo-liberal movement. She explained how the feminist movements looked at the issues gender in development arena. She made an attempt to interlink the environment, gender and sustainable livelihood by referring some of the struggles of women to protect the environments such as Chipako and Kohar movements. The second presentation of the session was given by Mrs. Neena Pandey. She talked about the Violent lives, Violent families. The presenter made on attempt to conceptualize the concept of violence. She discussed the different forms of violence physical, emotional and the mental. She brought light into different insights in her presentation from different studies which had been conducted in past. In her presentation, she exposed different forms of violence from two different case studies from Delhi. The violence is rooted in institutional structure itself. The violence can be addressed through working with families and children. The third and the final presentation of the session was given by Dr. Shalini Pandey. She presented her paper on Empowering Transgender Families. In her presentation she said that family should accept their child though they belonged to transgender category. However, this is seldom seen in our society. Hence there is strong need to accept them. There is also need to empowerment of child and their families about the sexual orientation of the child.
Session 8 Plenary (2.30 – 4.00 p.m.)
The eighth technical session of the Congress was held at 2.30 p.m. in the seminar hall 1 at Centre for Environmental Studies, Savitribai Phule Pune University. This session was chaired by Mrs. Nagmani Rao. During this session Prof. RBS Verma, Dr. Bipin Jojo and Dr. Abraham Francis addressed the delegates. Prof. Verma talked about the structure of curriculum, the evaluation system and the standard practices in social work education. Dr. Bipin Jojo spoke about the relevance of general system theory in relation to social work interventions in the issues of Dalits and Tribal community and Dr. Francis presented innovative models for collaborating with other schools of social work around the globe.
Session 9 Concurrent (4.30 – 6.00 p.m.)
A set of three concurrent sessions (9th, 10th, and 11th session) followed the plenary session at 4.30 p.m. after the tea break. In the first seminar hall, the 9th technical session of the congress was held. It was chaired by Mrs. Snehal Divekar. Ms. Pinki Kumari presented her paper on Land Acquisition and Development: Who gets the actual benefits? In her presentation she said that land is important for any development. But one needs to reflect that for whose development land is utilized and who gets justice in this particular matter. She criticized the present policy of land acquisition in which government is grabbing the land of the poor. The second presentation was given by Ms. Saramnoyee Kar in which she presented her paper on “Community work with Tribals in Urban Area (Delhi) De-notified Tribes in Delhi”. Ms. Kar started her presentation by explaining about the community work. She said that community work involves the understanding of power dynamic and social relations for achieving social justice through structural changes. Her presentation was based on the study of de-notified tribes in India which were called as “criminal tribe”. She said that in Delhi de-notified tribes faced many issues such as lack of education, poor health facility and above all identity as a human being. She said that community organization is one of the methods by which we can solve the issues of such DNTs in India. The third presentation was given by Mr. Pradeep Jare on “Social Exclusion and Citizenship issues of Pardhi community”. Mr. Pradeep started his presentation with conceptual clarification of social justice, social exclusion and De-notified tribe. He gave the brief historical background of the Pardhi community. In his presentation he reflected on the identity and equity issues of Pardhi community, their socio-economic and educational issues and the stigma of criminal tribe. He further criticized the role of state in upliftment of Pardhi community. Fourth paper was presented by N. Sreerama Murthy on “Resource Access to Scheduled Tribes in Andhra Pradesh”. This was a research based paper, in which he focussed on the awareness among tribal people about the existing resources and problems in forest area and they could enhance their participation in accessing resources through social work strategies. He said that there is need to intervene at the individual level by counseling, at group level and at the community level. Social Action can also be take-up in relation to solve the issues of lack of resources. He said that, they found from their study that majority tribal are poor. Hence there is need of education and awareness about the new technologies and media. They also need to keep away from the naxalite actions. The fourth presentation of the session was given by Mr. Sudhir Maske. He presented his paper on “Emancipatory Social Work Practice: Contextualising in Indian Practice”. Mr. Maske talked about the history of social work practice and education. He said that social work in India is still dominated by the western education system. He mentioned that there is need to include caste perspective in social work education. By referring this, he gave the examples of Mt. Phule, Dr. Ambedkar and various social reformers who fought against the caste system.
Session 10 Concurrent (4.30 – 6.00 p.m.)
The 10th technical session of the congress was held at the second seminar hall. There were four presentations in the session. The session was chaired by Prof. S R Billore. Dr. Avtar Singh presented on the Development Induced Displacement and Human Rights violence of SC/ST. In his presentation he argued that displacement is crisis prone at the same time as a necessary as part of development programmes. But he brought out that displacement led to social and economic destruction to those affected. Displacement leads to disturbance of existing model of productions, destructs social network and threatens identity. He also discussed the history of development, industrial displacement, magnitudes of the development, individual displacement and consequences of displacement. At the end, the presenter suggested rehabilitative measures which included input assessment, identification of affected workers, and rehabilitation as a right. Communication, education and training strategies need to be developed. He concluded his presentation by saying that social work institutions should take the lead in identifying areas for rehabilitation which enable proper utilization of abundant resources. It will also help in giving much needed professional approach to these ventures. Second paper was presented by Mr. Mohd. Nayim on “Social Exclusion of Minorities: Social Justice & Social Work Intervention”. In his presentation Mr. Nayim said that Muslim minority in India are discriminated. The presenter argued that the condition of Muslim populations is miserable due to lack of education, their low social and economic status, low human development growth, conservative approach, lack of political opportunity, and working in unorganized sectors. He further provided certain recommendations to improve the life of Muslims which included providing reservation for Muslim in private sector and government institutions, job opportunities, and economic opportunities in organized sector. This presentation was followed by presentation of Dr. Sanjoy Roy. He presented his paper on Dalits and Human Rights Violation in India: Where is the Emancipation? He began the presentation by discussing the facts and situation of Dalits in India which includes prohibition of eating with other caste’s members, segregation and exclusion. He also brought out the facts that every 18 minutes a crime is committed against Dalits and three Dalits women are raped. Dr. Roy further discussed the findings of the study which is done by Ghanshyam Shaha, Harsh Mandar and Satish Deshpande about the denial of entry in to temples, houses, prohibition against food sharing, denial of entry to Panchayat offices, separate line in polling booths, etc. He also presented a case study of Dalit boy who was killed for having an affair with an upper caste girl. In the concluding remark, he suggested to reflect on existing plans, schemes and programmes. Education and health aspects of Dalits need to be emancipated. There is need to provide viable livelihood opportunities. Curative mobilization is need of an hour. Fourth paper of the session was presented jointly by Mr. Atul Mane & Dada. They spoke on “Contemporary Situation of De-Notified and Nomadic Tribe”. The presenter introduced the paper by providing characteristics of DNT and arguing on why DNT has been excluded in the census. Further, the presenter brought out historical issues which included criminality attached to DNT, different legislations like Criminal Tribes Act, Habitual Offenders Act, Beggar Prevention which affects their livelihood etc. There has been no legal provision to protect the rights of DNT. He brought out the fact about the status of the women among DNT which is very low; they have limited access to health. The other issues faced by DNTs are lack of education because of their nomadic nature, high rate of migration and stigma related to their identity. In the concluding remarks presenter suggested emerging areas of interventions.
Session 11 Concurrent (4.30 – 6.00 p.m.)
The 11th technical session of the congress was held in the third seminar hall. This session was chaired by Ms. Nagmani Rao. Mr. Borgohainhas presented on Impact of Sero-Positive status on the Livelihood and Social relation among PLHIV. He stressed upon the social relationship among the HIV affected and non HIV affected people by saying that it has large impact on the employment of the HIV affected people. Hence he said that they need support from their families and relatives. This paper was based on the research which was done in Delhi. He found in his study that 29% of the total respondents are wage earners in their family. The migration has effect on their livelihood. They do not reveal the sero positive stages. He presented a case study of an HIV affected person and how his HIV status has impact on the wages and employment. He found that 46% of the total respondents are facing discrimination from their family.
The paper on impact of illegal E-waste recycling: Health and Social Exclusion of women was presented by Ms. Surabhi Bharti. She introduced her topic by explaining the issue of illegal recycling of e-waste. She said that e-waste should be properly disposed. She said that hazardous work comes in the hand of children of the poor and marginalized sectors. She discussed about the impact of illegal recycling on the human body in which she mentioned some health issues such as impact on kidney, harming immune system, impact on liver & lungs. The third paper of the session was presented by Dr. Bajirao Patil on “Spreading Awareness about The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989: The need for social justice”. Dr. Patil began his presentation by defining the concept of social exclusion. He said that social exclusion is denial of access to opportunities and therefore socially excluded becomes vulnerable. He argued that as long as the excluded remains silent then there is no atrocity but as soon as the excluded begin to assert their demand, there is atrocity and violence. He also argued that crimes against Dalits are increasing. Further he brought out the strategies of social workers while dealing with Dalits at institutional level. He stressed on the importance of having structural social work and anti-oppressive social work practice. Following this there was the fourth presentation by Ms. Bhavana Mehta on “Caring of old: Older Persons Perspective”. She started her presentation with concept of Aging. She said that there are various issues which are faced by aging population such as health issues, psychological problems, financial issues and social issues. The fifth presentation of the session was made by Mr. Suresh Mugutmal on Challenges to Human Rights: An Insights and Perspectives on Domestic Violence. Mr. Mugutmal introduced the topic by explaining the concept of human rights. He further discussed the factors that perpetuate domestic violence in society viz. cultural traits, political, economic and legal factors. He then elaborated the notion of domestic violence from human right perspective. He also discussed the provisions under Domestic violence Act 2005. The sixth presentation of the session was given by Dr. Ramesh Jare on Social Exclusion and Atrocities on Dalits and Social Work Response. In his presentation he focused on the recent atrocities which have shaken the state as inhumane activities. He said there is need of social work interventions in such issues.
Technical sessions of the third day of Indian Social Work Congress, 21st December 2014
Session 12 Concurrent (8.30 – 10.00 a.m.)
On 21st December, 2014, the third and the last day of the conference, three concurrent sessions (12th, 13th and 14th sessions) were held in the morning in three seminar halls at the Centre for Environmental Studies, Savitribai Phule Pune University. The twelfth session was held at the first seminar hall which was chaired by Dr. Avtar Singh. Shivani Singh has presented her paper on Revisiting Realities: An Insight for the need of Contemporary Social Work Education and Practice in India for Marginalized Communities. In her presentation she talked about the social work education. She wondered whether social work education has any place for Dalit students and perspective about Dalits. She said that social work education needs to reflect their curricula and need to make possible changes as per the requirement from the society to bring social justice. Mr. Vijay Kumar Pandey presented his paper on Can You Hear Me: Plight of Homeless Women. Mr. Pandey said that homeless population in India constitute of 2.2 million. However the actual data is much more than this which is not recorded in official records. He further discussed the causes of homelessness which are migration, mental illness, widowhood, domestic violence, substance abuse and demolition of slums. He recommended that by working with homeless, the social workers could bridge the gap to promote social justice in society.
The paper on Biodiversity, Livelihood and Social Work was presented by Mr. Digvijoy Phukan. Dr. Renu Shah presented her paper on Exploring Masculinities in India: Working with Boys and Men. In her presentation she presented the conceptual framework for understanding the masculinity. She said that there are various attributes of masculinities in India. The masculinity is about the giving preference to role and responsibility being men or boy by controlling with power. The fifth paper of the session was presented by Ms. Swagatika Samalon on Diversion Based Irrigation: An Innovation for Securing Rural Livelihood through Community Participation.
Session 13 Concurrent (8.30 – 10.00 a.m.)
The session 13 held at second seminar hall had five presentations. The session was chaired by Mr. Suresh Mugutmal. Mrs. Sharmila Ramteke presented her paper on Corporate Social Responsibility in Relation to affirmative action programme. The Presenter started her Presentation with introducing CSR and defining CSR in various ways. She tried to reflect the affirmative action of FICCI for SC\ST linking to Social Justice. She discussed further on the activities which could be included in the CSR practices & policies. She focused on affirmative actions taken by FICCI which represent 443 members (chambers). She focused on development of SC/ST through Govt. & private partnership. She gave data of CSR activities by TATA Motors, Pune & Tech Mahindra, Pune. She gave insight on activities done by these companies especially in developing education and focused on SC/ST.
Ms. Nirma Bora presented on Autonomous Adaptation by Marginal Farmers in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. She started her presentation by putting some light on climate change. Her focus was in Climate change in India and specifically on eastern U.P. She gave details of change in temperature, rainfall, weather events & conditions. Climate projections for India for future were also shown by her. She said, India is going to have dramatic rainfall features. She then went on to describe climate change in consequent weather conditions in Eastern Utter Pradesh. Impact of this climate change on agriculture in U.P. was focused upon by the presenter. Uncertain monsoon & water logging club bed with fog has made the farmers more vulnerable. Loss & damage to crops due to Hudhud was really drastic. Coping mechanism for farmers was proposed which included: Adaptation- Soil fertility, water management. She also shed some light on policy responses to adaptation by farmers followed by actions and responses which could be taken up and which should be ignored. Concluding her presentation she said that climate change is anthropogenic. So we should reduce emission and try to reduce the impact of climate change.
Following this, the third presentation of the session was given by Mr. Pankaj Gupta on Changing Trends in CSR: From Benevolence to tax Benefit and Legal Obligation. Mr. Pankaj started his presentation by introducing his title & theme. He went on to explain the evolution of CSR in which he first mentioned Karma Theory from Gita and then to trusteeship theory given by Gandhiji. Trusteeship theory is one of the main bases on which CSR has evolved in the country. He gave the concept & various definition of CSR given by national & international institution. He Said some light on recent trends in CSR globally and India as well. He mentioned that India has been ranked 4th in top ten Asian countries in doing CSR. Moving ahead he came to deceivers of CSR which are classified into moral & strategic. He spoke about the New companies Act and informed the group the merit & demerits. In his concluding remark he said that we can be a trend setter for the western world by introducing this Act for the first time. In his suggestions part he focused on transparency & accountability in using CSR funds and including child protection in CSR activities by companies.
Mr. Sanatan Deka presented his paper on Forest based Ethnological Food Practice among the Bodo tribe inhabited near Chirang Ripu Elephant Reserve of BTC, Assam India. The presenter started with showing the landscape of Assam and its geographical features. He gave details of his area of study Bodoland and then explained the landscape of Monas National Park. He went on to explain the objectives and research methods and materials. The result and observation includes Ethno biological, ethno botanical and medicinal plants constitute the landscape. Information like which parts of plants are used and what time was collected. He focused on documentation and identification of mirror forest recourses.
The fifth paper of the session was on Role of Social Networking sites (SNS) in Social Work presented by Dr. Dhirendra Patel. Dr. Dhirendra started his presentation by focusing on difficulties of social works in reaching the mass. He said internet has brought development in social work by increasing communication & outreach. He defined social networking sites (SNS) and gave data on numbers of users of various SNS focusing on data of India. He gave a list of social movements which have recently come on the internet such as Anna Hazare Movement. He explained the impact of SNS for such movements. He gave data related to Satyemeva Jayate because the show focused on social issues. He also mentioned other examples such as Khan Academy which gives online education and Banega Swachh India a social initiative by Delhi India. He suggested creation of Face-book page for NAPSWI. Disadvantages of SNS were also pointed out. Repetitive videos in the sites hurt the sentiments of people. In his concluding remark he said SNS is used to connect & share information at national & international levels. We can use this technology to reach to the masses for useful outcomes in social work.
The sixth and the last paper of the session was presented by Mr. Kailas Jadhav on Dalit Women in Modern India. He started his presentation with introducing the economic, political, social, educational, channels though which Dalit women have been uplifted. The laws of Manusrmithi have had disastrous impact on SC women. He gave the educational status of Dalit women and reasons for law literacy rates. He also shed light on women’s exploitation by various people. In the economic segment he showed how Dalit women are less well-off and dependent on others. Concluding his presentation, Mr. Jadhav focused on the worst state of Dalit girls and women. The reasons cited for this includes the lack of education and lack of desire for education.
Session 14 Concurrent (8.30 – 10.00 a.m.)
Technical session 14 was held in seminar hall 3 of the Centre for Environmental Studies Savitribai Phule Pune University concurrently with the 12th and 13th sessions. Ms. Anjali Suman presented her paper on Women rights to legal recourse is not reality: Analysis from Social Work Perspective. She started with the issue of domestic violence as a major share of crime. She said that in reality large impact is caused by rape by the family members and relatives. Ms. Anjali argued that unless and until the victims of domestic violence don’t come out from their situation they cannot be empowered and for that we need to provide them legal support.
The second paper of the session was presented by Mr. Vivek Kumar Singh on Role of Judiciary in the Protection of Human Rights in India. Mr. Vivek talked about the concept of human rights at global level and specifically at Indian context. Further, he spoke about the role of Indian judiciary system in protection of human rights.
Mr. Nitin Dhaktode presented his paper on the Role of Community Organization Method to Implement Tool of Social Audit to bring transparency and Accountability in System: A Case Study of United Andhra Pradesh. He began explaining the concepts of community organization and community development. He emphasized that in current days right based approach is important in development sector. He further discussed the importance of social audit in community organization in rural sectors.
The fourth and the final presentation of the session was given by Mr. Avinash Gore. He presented his paper on Climate change and its impact on Women.
The concluding session of the 2nd ISWC was held on 21st December, 2014 at 12.30 p.m. The main guests for this session were Prof. Shanti Khinduka, Prof. A. Ramaiha, Dr. Manoj Jha, Dr. Sanjai Bhatt and Dr. Suresh Pathare. The session began with the welcome note and felicitation of the guest by the Prof. Sanjai Bhatt. Following this, there held the release of a publication of the edited book which consists of the articles of first Indian Social Work Congress. Dr. Suresh Pathare, Director of CSRD-ISWR presented the brief report of the 2nd Indian Social Work Congress. In his speech he mentioned about the total plenary and concurrent sessions along with key note address. He also gave the deliberations and discussions which took place during the conference. Dr. Shalini Pandey, Dr. Ramesh Jare, Dr. Renu Shah and Dr. S I Kumbhar expressed their feedback on the three days of conference.
After this, Dr. Manoj Jha, HOD, Department of Social Work, Delhi University talked about the social work profession and social justice in India. He said that with the passing time social work profession is moving towards the positive development. For social workers social justice should be creed. Social Justice has to be philosophy and way of life hence we need to relocate ourselves. There is need of de-construction of social work methods in Indian context. Social workers being social change agents have the primary claim on social justice. He further said that we need to create our own history and build our new history. For this, curriculum is the political instrument and a transformative tool.
The key note address was given by Dr. A. Ramaiha. He spoke about the conceptual understanding of social justice in Indian context. He said that social work profession should to respond to the many instances of social injustice. Social justice is one of the priority concerns for social workers in Indian context. In Indian context according A. Ramaiha, religion is the most influencing factor for promoting injustice in society. There are multiple notions of social justice based on religion such as denying the wealth, education and power. They constitute injustice in general, but considered justice in religion. There are so many local understandings rooted in tradition, religion and culture which maintain status-quo (injustice). At the same time universal understanding of justice is dignity of individual. Hence there is need to delink the religion from the society to promote social justice in society. But in Indian society nobody including professional social workers wants to challenge the existing things based on the social structure. Therefore there is need of building the perspectives to address these challenges to bring social justice. He also mentioned that social action is a core area of social work to bring social justice. The curriculum of social work should focus on the social action component.
Finally the Prof. Shanti Khinduka gave the valedictory address. He mainly spoke about the social work profession and its challenges. He started his address by saying that every profession faces challenges. Social work is contextual profession in which our work is based particular context. Globalisation in recent era is major contextual factor. He said that capital is growing faster than ages and people who have capital will have more power and will influence the politics. Therefore there is need to re-examine the role of state as welfare approach and the role of Indian state to bring human well-being. Hence critical research and evaluation is the need of today which can be taken up by social work professionals. Some core concepts must be included in social work education and curriculum such as power, social change and hegemony. Hence we can introduce a new area of social work that is known as “Political Social Work”. He finally concluded that social workers are not committed to profession, but they are committed to “Social Justice”.
Dr. Jaimon Varghese proposed vote of thanks to each and every one who contributed to the success of the conference. The programme ended with the national anthem.