Social Work Foot Prints (SWFP) is a peer reviewed journal. It strives to promote high quality social work education and to uphold professional ethics based social work practice in India.
Following the publication of the Facebook post Social Work Piracy in January, 2016 SWFP made detailed investigation and the present post is the outcome
Centre for the Welfare of the Aged (CEWA)
CEWA, formed in 1979, pioneered community-based elder care services in India as an alternative to the increasing trend of Homes for the Aged. Besides promoting elder care service, CEWA has been a centre of research, training, publications, advocacy and consultancy on ageing and elder care. The United Nations invited CEWA to participate in two consultations held at Bangkok and Macau in 1996 and 1997, respectively.
The first day centre for the elderly was established by CEWA at MGR Colony,Naduvankarai,Anna Nagar. Impressed by the concept and the elder care activities , the Tamilnadu Slum Clearance Board leased out 800 sq.ft of land to CEWA in 1984 where CEWA constructed a building for the day centre.CEWA's day centre was featured in The Hindu,other media and the joint publication of Copac,Rome and the United Nations.
Late Mrs. Tara Cherian, Chairman of the Tamilnadu State Social Welfare Advisory Board, who led a team of members to the MGR Colony day centre and other day centres in January 1985 wrote :
"The members very much appreciated the day centres run by CEWA .They wanted to run such centres all over the country".
This MGR Colony Day Centre was GRABBED by M.Dayalasankar, a social worker in the employ of CEWA for about 15 years by forming Mudhir Solai Trust ( MST) in 2002 with him as Director(Source:MSTFacebook post). MST's registered office is the residence of M.Dayalsankar. For raising money through public appeal, the GRABBED centre address is given. The two advisers of MST are:
S.Pandian, Retd Community Development Officer, TNSCB.
S.Syed Ahmed Hussain, Retd Secretary, Puducherry Social Welfare Advisory Board.
Both are professional social workers.
On January 6, 2016 MST posted in Facebook its appeal for funds. The vision, mission and three convictions of CEWA were copied verbatim. Also the slogan of CEWA "Towards a Community of Concern for the Elderly" was also reproduced in the appeal. CEWA reacted to the Facebook post of MST and sensing trouble of plagiarism and piracy the post was withdrawn by MST the same day.
CEWA is prominently seen. The Tamil words refer to MGR Colony and Tamil translation of Centre for the Welfare of the Aged.
Now SWFP asks some questions:
SWFP hopes that the Tamilnadu government and other authorities will act on this group of persons who vitiate social work.
Surprisingly, this week a facebook page in the name of one Mudhir Solai Trust appeared and endorsed by a FB friend appealing for funds was seen by me. On visiting the page I found to my surprise that the vision, mission, and convictions were verbatim copy of those of the Centre for the Welfare of the Aged (CEWA) founded in 1979. CEWA pioneered community-based elder care services in India. The first day centre for the elderly was started in MGR Colony at Naduvankarai at Anna Nagar. Impressed by the work the Tamilnadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) allotted 800 sq ft of land at MGR Colony, where CEWA constructed a building.
The day centre was featured in the media prominently and received appreciation from central and state govts and international bodies including the United Nations. The website of CEWA (www.centreforwelfareofaged.org) indicates these facts.
Mudhir Solai Trust mentioned that in the FB page that it was registered in 2002 by its founder -Director, who incidentally was a full time social worker in the employment of CEWA at that time and many years later on. The trust was registered without the knowledge of CEWA,the employer. The ethical and legal aspects of this conduct are self-evident.As social worker he was looking after the CEWA's day care programmes. He used to arrange activities on behalf of CEWA and we learnt subsequently that he used to tell the gullible elders that he was spending money on his own. After more than 15 years with CEWA, he left to take up some CSR related employment under a prominent Community Development Consultant. The Facebook page was aimed at raising funds for the day centre for elderly at MGR Colony for "rehabilitation ?"of the elderly. The page also mentioned two retired govt officials ( social work professionals) as the advisors of the Trust. We do not prefer to mention the names of the "founder-Director" or the advisers as we have no intention to discredit any individual. The FB page compelled us to post this write-up.
On Wednesday we posted an advisory to all persons on accepting any advisory role in this Trust. To our surprise the Mudhir Solai Trust deleted Its Facebook page. It is easy to understand the reason for this quick retreat.
Social work is a noble profession and the social work professionals need to uphold professional ethics in helping people in distress. All who claim to do service to people may avoid doing illegal and unethical means.
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