Prof. H.M. Marulasiddaiah
Prof. H.M. Marulasiddaiah(HMM) completed MA (Sociology) from Mysore University and MA (Social Work) from the Delhi School of Social Work. He was awarded PhD in Social Work by the Kashi Vidyapeeth in 1978. His teaching career started as Lecturer in social work at the PSG School of Social Work in Coimbatore. It was in 1958. In the year 1962, HMM joined as Lecturer in Social Work of the newly created social work wing of the department of Social Anthropology at Karnataka University. Professor Ishwaran, the head of the department, contrary to his name, was an autocrat. His authoritarianism stifled the development of the social work unit of the department as well as the growth of HMM academically.
HMM became the head of the bifurcated department of Social Work in 1978. Soon he shifted to the Bangalore University to be the Reader and head of the newly formed department of Social Work, which, in a way, was the University incarnation of the National Institute of Social Sciences which was the epicenter of a long struggle by the teachers, students, parents, and citizens led by the soft-spoken Dr. K.V. Sridharan, Director of NISS (who sadly is not in our midst now) for academic autonomy. He became Professor in 1979 and continued in that position till his retirement from the University in 1992. Prof. HMM has a long professional relationship with two Swedish Universities. From 1986 to 1997, he supervised the field studies of students of these Universities in India. During 1982 to 1983 he became President of the Association of Schools of Social Work in India. In 2003, HMM accepted the position of Director of the JSS Department of Social Work at Mysore.
Prof. HMM is a prolific writer both in Kannada and in English. His study of the elderly in a village is perhaps the first study of older people in rural India. Besides the book Old People of Makunti, his important English books are Contours of Social Welfare; Sectarian and Secular Base of Welfare and Development; Community, Area and Regional Development in India; and Dimensions of Bhakthi Movement in India.
Prof. HMM has written around forty books in Kannada and published numerous articles. He popularized social work, sociology and social development in Kannada through his writings. Samaja Karya (Introduction to Social Work), Manava Samaja Hagu Samaja Shastra (Essays in Sociology and Social Work), and Samudaya Sanghatane (Community Organization) are three outstanding books in Kannada; many revised editions and reprints of these books have been brought out. Among his many literary works, Kedarida Kenda (novel) has three editions. Visha Bindu and Pravasa are two popular collections of poems penned by HMM. His latest contribution, despite his ill-health, is the Social Work: Kannada-English Dictionary.
Besides his versatile writing, HMM has been active in different social development activities in Karnataka. He founded the Centre for Psycho-Social Development at Bangalore in 1981 and Swasthi, a development organization in 1987. HMM is the recipient of many awards .For some years, his mobility has been restricted due to a painful ailment. But his mental agility remains vibrant, and his natural courtesy to people continues undiminished.
Professor K.V. Ramana joined as a student of Andhra University in 1954 and went on to become its Vice-Chancellor in 1988. After completing his MA degree in social work in 1959, he joined the doctoral programme in sociology at the University of Illnois at Urbana-Champaign in 1966 after discontinuing the UGC Fellowship. He was awarded the PhD degree in 1970. Prof. Ramana started his teaching career in 1961 when he was appointed Lecturer in social work. Earlier, he was Research Officer of the government of India - funded evaluation study of the rural development project undertaken by the Andhra University. Promoted Reader in 1969, he became Professor in 1974. He took charge as Head of the bifurcated Department of Social Work in 1975
Prof. Ramana was commissioned Second Lieutenant of the NCC wing of the Indian Army in 1964. He was also entrusted with the onerous task of organizing the National Service Scheme (NSS) at the college and University levels. In addition, he was to organize orientation training of University and college lecturers as Programme Officers in the NSS in the entire state of Andhra Pradesh. Later on Prof. Ramana also served as NSS Special Adviser and Honorary Director of the NSS Training and Orientation Centre of Andhra University. The Andhra Pradesh Telugu Academy published many BA level text books and monographs in social work edited by Prof. Ramana. He has also published articles in professional journals on varied subjects. Prof. Ramana was President of the Association of Schools of Social Work in India for four consecutive years from 1978.
Prof. Ramana's contribution to social causes has been remarkable. An ardent admirer of the Rotary movement, he became President of the Rotary Club of Visakhapatnam in 1979. He also became Chairman of the Rotary Committee to implement the child sponsorship programme of the Save the Children Fund (UK) in 1980. Prof. Ramana promoted and strengthened the voluntary sector, and associated himself with a number of local, regional, national, and international NGOs.
In 1977, when DiviSeema in Krishna district and Visakhapatnam district were severely ravaged by cyclone and floods, Prof. Ramana formed a Citizens' Committee for Cyclone and Food Relief. He himself was chosen the Convener of the committee. Besides timely relief work, three rehabilitation colonies were constructed by the committee and the houses were handed over to the deserving families.
Establishment of the ShramikVidyapeeth (Jan Shikshan Sansthan) at Visakhapatnam with Prof. Ramana as Chairman has been a good initiative. Through the Vidyapeeth, the Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government of India provides grant to NGOs for implementing the scheme of polyvalent education for the benefit of unskilled and semi-skilled workers. In addition, unemployed poor youth are trained in various skills such as refrigeration, air-conditioning, plumbing, electric wiring, embroidery, etc. on payment of minimum tuition fees.
Prof. Ramana was instrumental in forming the well-known Visakha Consumer
Council (VCC) 1972. He roped in lawyers, doctors, bureaucrats, academics, industrial workers, student leaders, social activists, and others in the Council, which has been playing a crucial role in educating and organizing the consumers. One of the earliest consumer organizations in India, the VCC still has the benefit of Prof. Ramana's guidance as its Honorary Chairman.
Leprosy prevention and treatment, and rehabilitation of the leprosy afflicted have been promoted by Prof. Ramana as the north coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam have been highly endemic with leprosy. But the vast majority of the leprosy affected persons lacked access to scientific treatment. The cured and the burnt-out preferred begging for livelihood as there was no rehabilitation programme. Because of Prof. Ramana's keen interest, the German Leprosy Relief Association (GLRA) stepped in and supported a comprehensive scheme for the survey, education, treatment and rehabilitation in the leprosy affected districts. The Greater Visakha Leprosy Treatment and Health Scheme was registered as a voluntary organization, and Prof. Ramana served the body as its Chairman for over two decades. A strong rehabilitation component consisting of vocational training, self-employment, housing, education of children of the leprosy patients, etc was built into the organization's programme. In a period of 25 years, the incidence of leprosy has drastically come down in these districts .The Pragathi Trust under Prof. Ramana's leadership has been carrying on the task initiated by the GLRA. One seldom comes across a leprosy-affected beggar in the city of Visakhapatnam these days
Prof. Ramana is now the Chairman of the People for India Forum, Visakhapatnam. In that capacity he and the Forum have launched several struggles to save the Rhythu Bazars from closure, to prevent the Old Jail site from being put to commercial use, to ensure closure of stone crushers in residential areas, to protect the Dr. V.S.Krishna College site from land grabbers etc. The Forum has organized campaigns against air pollution from Visakha Port Trust's iron ore conveyor belt ,impoverishment of farmers on account of Special Economic Zones, petro chemical corridor, etc., corruption in public institutions, child labour, human rights violations, domestic violence against women, bonded labour, black marketing ,defective public distribution scheme, and many other social issues. Prof. Ramana's age progresses; so also the number of social causes in which he is engaged in.
My association with Prof. Marulasiddaiah dates back to more than fifty years. In a way, he was my first social work employer when I joined the Karnataka University at Dharwad in March 1964 as Research Officer of the sponsored research programme in the Department of Social Anthroplogy and Social Work. Anthropologist Dr. L.K. Mohapatra and HMM were the Honorary Directors. Soon Dr. Mohapatra shifted his base to Bhubaneswar. From our first meeting till I left Dharwad after three and a half years, Prof. Marulasiddaiah was friendly and helpful. He gave me total autonomy to complete the project. With Dr. Mohapatra at Bhubaneswar, the project work was done through snail mail as email was unheard of at that time. Drafting and revising chapters took a long time because of the postal delays. The final outcome was the book Contours of Social Welfare co-authored by Prof. L.K .Mohapatra, Prof. HMM, and T.K.Nair. I grew very much academically with the silent, unobtrusive mentoring by Prof. Marulasiddaiah.
At Dharwad, my first contacts were with Dr. Mohapatra and his housemate BRK Raju. BRK, a contemporary of Prof. Ramana at Andhra University, was doing his doctoral research under the guidance of Dr.Ishwaran, HOD, while at the same time sharing the quarters of Dr. Mohapatra, Reader (as his wife was at Bhubaneswar). Both Ishwaran and Lakshman Mohapatra avoided each other, but Raju maintained a skillful equidistance from both on academic matters. It is said that Raju could make Ishwaran to laugh :a rare event. Raju and I became good friends. When the news of the demise of Pandit Nehru reached, Raju broke down. We both were sitting on the Hostel lawn. Raju adored Nehru and hence could not control his grief. My memories still go back to that touching moment. BRK Raju left Dharwad before I left to join Andhra University Social Work Wing of the combined Department. He became Professor and accepted the offer to be the Special Adviser (NSS) of the Government of India. A great well-wisher, Prof. Raju is now at Visakhapatnam,
Prof. Ramana visited the Madras School of Social Work in 1970 and the Director introduced him to me. It was our first interaction. After some time, we met again at Nirmala Niketan, when it organized a week long workshop on curriculum development at its campus. It was a residential programme, which gave the participants an occasion to know each other well. The participants were of three categories: Videsi social work elites, Swadesi social work elites of Nirmala Niketan, and the rest, social work laity. A jargon-ridden, exclusive workshop. One week's enjoyment for the laity. In December 1977, the ASSWI seminar and elections were held at Visakhapatnam. Prof. R.R. Singh was the Director of the seminar on poverty. During the elections, Prof. Ramana's name was proposed for Presidentship. My name and the name of R.R.Singh were proposed for the position of Secretary. But R.R. Singh withdrew from a contest. It was a graceful action on his part. Thus, I was elected General Secretary. During the next four years our team, under the leadership of Prof. Ramana, did an excellent work. Inclusion of social work teachers in all programmes was the hallmark of our period. Recently, Prof. R.R. Singh, described that period as the "finest period” in a telephone conversation with me in a different context. A solid foundation was laid during 1978-1982 for the future development of ASSWI. But to our dismay, ASSWI started to decline, and now it is not in existence. A very disappointing end.
Prof. Ramana was instrumental in my academic and professional development more than anyone else. His constant pressure to register for PhD and to complete the research work made me accomplish that. I submitted my dissertation to Prof. Ramana for his signature on the last day in office as Vice-Chancellor. My dissertation was adjudged the best among the dissertations submitted during the previous 27 months in humanities and social sciences, and I was awarded the gold medal for that. All the credit for that goes to my guide Prof. Ramana. In contrast, the Honorary Secretary of the Madras School of Social Work, where I worked, issued a show-cause notice to me for registering for PhD, and also wrote to the Registrar of Andhra University not to permit me to proceed with the research work.
Prof. Ramana is a brilliant scholar in sociology and social work. He could have written some outstanding books. But he chose to devote most of his time and energy for the well-being of the people in distress around him, and for academic work of teaching, research guidance, and related activities. Personally, he has been a great well-wisher of me and my family. A long and enduring relationship between me and my mentor.
Social Work and Development Consultant.
Professor K.V.Ramana (1935) and Professor H.M.Marulasiddaiah(1931)
are two of India's distinguished, contemporary social work teachers. Both of them have contributed immensely in diverse spheres to enrich social work education and the well-being of the communities around them. Both have moulded many young men and women, who, today, are committed and competent social work professionals, researchers and academics across many countries.
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