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July 2024
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National Seminar 2022

National Seminar on Post-COVID: Issues, challenges and Social Work response in India, 7-9 June 2022:

Inaugural session was held at 11 AM. Eminent guests of the national seminar were Prof. Ghandi Doss, President of INPSWA, Prof. Mahesh Takur, Director, Karve Institute of Social Sciences, Pune, and Prof. Ramesh Jare, Dean, TISS, Tuljapur. Other guests of the occasion were Dr. Vilas Deshmukh, Principal, college of social work, Nashik, Dr. Ghanshyam Jagtap, Associate Professor, College of social work, Nashik, and Dr. Usha N Lolge, Retd. Professor, BPHES’ CSRD-ISWR, Dr. M. Arif, Dr. Avinash Gore and Mr. Sudhir Landge. Mrs. Aaswari Zapake moderated the inaugural session. After the felicitation of the guests, Prof. Suresh Pathare delivered the welcome address and explained briefly the background of the national seminar.  The chief theme of the National seminar is the Post COVID issues, challenges and social work responses in India. What are the coping mechanisms adopted by the people in post-COVID situation? The students of the Institute conducted a common research in 98 different locations. There were quantitative and qualitative data collected by them. There were unique locations, respondents, case studies, observations, learning, challenges and suggestions. This national seminar would become an occasion for experts’ input in the morning plenary sessions and students’ paper presentations in the afternoon parallel sessions.

Prof. Ghandi Doss, the chief guest, addressed the seminar. He started his session with a probe. Do we need a research at this junction? At the first step, Google search engine searches and gives the answers for most of the questions in our life. At the second step, YouTube demonstrates the procedure of anything to be followed for accomplishing any task in the work. In this context, is there any relevance to conduct any research? He explained further the relevance of social science research. What is required for a relevant research are two important mindsets – critical mindset and objectivity. Analytical thinking is fundamental to any research. Through the medium of a classical Vikramaditya and Vethal story, he described the importance of nurturing scientific research aptitude and attitude. In any Vikramaditya and Vethal story, there is an event, a question, and an answer. What is required is to find the answers in the acceptable customs and framework of the time. There is a need for developing critical thinking. The chief guest opened a challenge to the audience to answer to his question on ‘who are you’? Bright Polimetta, the MSW I year student, responded to the challenge and answered that he is basically a person who wishes to bring social change and a person who makes people think and. In response to his answer, the chief guest explained that more often we tend to portray ourselves as what we would like to be in future, instead of what we are at present. In research, what is important is to make our questions right. He illustrated the skills of framing a question by a simple example. Did you have your breakfast? Do you wish to have breakfast? Why not having some breakfast? All these questions will have different responses from the respondents. The way you put the questions will bring forth the answers you like to have. How to frame the questions is the fundamental aspect of research. If your question is what, the answer is descriptive. If the question is how, the answer is explanatory. If the question is where, the answer is explorative. If the question is how did it affect you? The answer will be experimental. For example, What is COVID? How did you get it? Where did you get it?

During the pandemic lock down, the families remained together for a considerable period of time. It seems a positive impact of the pandemic. But, has any research taken place regarding the quality of the time spent together by the family members? Some studies have shown that 80 percent time was spent on social media. During COVID, digital marketing created one billionaire every one hour. There is a need to study such neglected areas of behaviour that cropped up during COVID. Post COVID scenario has seen the emergence of de-addiction clinic for mobile addiction. Why West is progressing faster than East? It is due to innovativeness. Our researches should discover and encourage innovativeness.  Be analytical, critical and objective. Start with you. Only you can discover you, no one else. There should be humane in human. During COVID, who came to bury the dead? Share what is humane in human during your research presentations. These ordinary people should have been studied as case study. Unless the humane in human survive, the society will not survive. With these inspiring thoughts, the chief guest concluded his address.

After the keynote address by the chief guest, Dr. Mahesh Takur, another guest of honour of the inaugural session addressed the National seminar. He expressed his proud feeling of being a CSRD 1998 batch student alumnus. He was the university topper in that year. After introducing himself, he explained about various opportunities that were brought by the pandemic? After COVID, people started taking all the illnesses seriously. During COVID, new helplines were started. There were also several serious impacts of the pandemic. During the COVID health care improvement process, only super speciality hospitals were benefited and the PHCs that cater to the health care needs of the large majority of the common people were neglected. There were many oxygen plants installed. Will they be required to be maintained in future? There is a COVID batch – prove yourself as non-COVID batch professional. Isolation, suicides, and social work opportunities. Online courses became popular. Corporate funded projects. Risk and assumptions of such a lock down was unexpected in most of the projects. Most of the SHGs went in loss. Phenyl industry: the purchased raw materials became toxic. Water shed projects. Small scale industries, companies, small hotels, all went in huge loss. Work from home has become double burden for women. They have to work for office and also for the home. Divorces have increased. More cases have been reported in counselling centre. They (IT) professionals started working from home and became bombs. Huge digital gaps between educational institutions. Maternal health has deteriorated due to non-functioning of PHCs. There is need for mental health clinics in the villages. Research is one area that develops critical thinking among the students. Students of CSRD are welcome for block placement in 20-22 field projects of KINSS.

Altogether 24 parallel sessions were scheduled and conducted. Altogether 98 paper presentations were made by the student participants of the Seminar. They presented the Post COVID issues, challenges and social work responses in their respective research areas. They highlighted the objectives of their study, research methodology, major findings, and relevance to social work. The paper presentations revealed both the quantitative and qualitative nature of their study. Altogether, more than 500 case studies that were relevant to the topic of the research and the role of social work were documented by the researchers. All the research papers and ppts were shared with all the participants of the seminar in soft. These seminar papers have become an invaluable documentation of knowledge and field-based experiences of the student researchers. The chairpersons for the parallel sessions were Dr. Ramesh Jare, Dean, TISS, Tuljapur, Dr. Vilas Deshmukh, Principal, college of social work, Nashik, Dr. Ghanshyam Jagtap, Associate Professor, College of social work, Nashik, and Dr. Usha N Lolge, Retd. Professor, BPHES’ CSRD-ISWR. These parallel sessions were moderated by all the faculty members of the Institute – Dr. Suresh Mugutmal, Dr. Jaimon Varghese, Mr. Pradeep Jare, Mr. Vijay Sansare, Mrs. Aasawari Zapake, Mrs. Vaishali Pathare and Dr. Avinash Gore. All the parallel sessions were completed by 12 noon on the second day of the seminar, 8 June, 2022.

During the feedback session, 12 students gave their feedbacks. Dr. Usha N Lolge and Dr. Ramesh Jare, the chief resource persons for the paper presentations gave their common observations, remarks and comments upon the paper presentations. They gave valuable suggestions to the paper presenters to improve their research works and their research-based paper presentations.

The plenary session of the day was conducted at 12.45 PM. Mr. Pradeep Jare moderated the session. Prof. Ghandi Doss chaired the session. Prof. Ramesh Jare and Dr. M. Arif were the plenary speakers. Dr. M. Arif explained the scientific dimensions of the Corona virus and the COVID-19 infections. He highlighted the need for preventive approach in response to the pandemic. Prof. Ramesh Jare explained the role of social work during the pandemic. Every disaster brings opportunity for relief and rehabilitation, the practical aspects. It also adds to the knowledge dimensions. Disasters give opportunity to build knowledge about how to deal with the disasters in future, for which research is important. The research-based knowledge leads to the formulation of government policies. The COVID researches should lead to frame policies for the welfare of the COVID widows and for the prevention of child marriages taking place during the pandemic.

Valedictory session was held at 1.30 PM. Dr. Girish Kulkarni, the founder of Snehalaya, was the chief guest on the occasion. Mrs. Aasawari moderated the session. Dr. Suresh Mugutmal introduced the chief guest. The seminar report was presented by Dr. Jaimon Varghese. Seminar participation certificates were distributed by the chief guest. Dr. Girish Kulkarni, the chief guest, addressed the national seminar. He presented briefly the COVID response Snehalaya project, Mission Rahat, which provided provisions to the migrants, tribal families, the differently abled families, the transgender communities, the sex workers, the homeless, the jobless, and many others especially during the second wave which was more severe than the first one. About 2 lakhs people were helped. Snehalaya worked in collaboration with several corporates and NGOs and reached more people during the pandemic. About 300 child marriages were prevented with the help of government machinery. He thanked the CSRD students for their efforts in the prevention of child marriages. We need to nurture give and share mentality among the people and society. We need to nurture good will (Sadbhavana). Snehalaya conducted a Sadbhavana cycle rally, that covered thousands of miles from Mumbai to Bangladesh.

Prof. Ghandi Doss, the chair person of the session gave the presidential address. At the end of all the researches, what do you learn? ‘You shall know the truth’. If you do not live with the nature, the nature is not going to forgive you. Gandhi: ‘Don’t follow my truth. I found my truth. You have to find your truth and follow it’. We need to know ‘Satymeva Jayate’. Find out what is that truth? What is your feeling when you lose your mobile phone? What will be the feeling when you give your mobile phone to a migrant worker? When you lose the wealth, you feel sad. When you keep yourself out of wealth, you will be glad.

Mr. Vijay Sansare marked the vote of thanks. The valedictory session concluded with national anthem at 2.15 PM.