T.K. Nair, pp. XVI+256=272, Rs.500, Niruta Publications
Social work education in South India was heralded with the founding of the Madras School of Social Work (MSSW) in 1952. It was the fruition of the vision and determination of the late Mary Clubwala Jadhav, a colossus among social workers in the country. She founded MSSW under the joint auspices of the Guild of Service (Central), one of the oldest voluntary welfare organizations in India, and the Madras branch of the Indian Conference of Social Work (renamed the Indian Council of Social Welfare). Mary Clubwala Jadhav devoted her whole life for serving children, women, differently abled, war veterans, urban poor and other needy sections till she breathed her last at the age of 67. Ill - health and personal tragedies never deterred her from reaching out to the people in distress. She was an epitome of courtesy and social grace.
Institution- building of a School of Social Work was a tough task. In this herculean effort, Mary Clubwala Jadhav had the strong support of Prof.K.N.George, the third professionally qualified social work Director of MSSW. Prof. George served MSSW for more than five decades in different capacities, and during this period the physical infrastructure of the school was strengthened significantly in place of the thatched huts. The academic programme also underwent many positive changes, and I had the opportunity to associate myself actively with these changes, and to direct many research studies sponsored by the central and state governments, UNICEF, FAO, US government, and other agencies. Despite various efforts, the affiliation with the University of Madras did not materialize due to reasons other than academic. Finally, it was Dr.Malcolm Adiseshiah, who made the affiliation possible. On assuming the Vice- Chancellorship, he announced suo motu in his three-year plan of action that MSSW would be affiliated with the University. The statutory procedures followed soon to formalize the affiliation.
As a teacher, I am proud of the amazing contributions of MSSW graduates in alleviating human misery and suffering, and in enriching human resources. Many of them have changed the landscape of social work practice. Padma Shri Shanthi Ranganathan (founder of TTK Hospital for treatment and rehabilitation of alcoholics and substance addicts); Vandana Gopikumar (co-founder of The Banyan engaged in promoting mental health); Stephen Vidyakar (founder of Uthavum Karangal – Helping Hands – extending support to the abandoned in the streets); K.R.Gangadharan (President, International Federation on Ageing, and Founder of Heritage Foundation offering health care for the elderly at home and at the Heritage Hospital); late M.S.S.Nambudiri (first Director of Seva Samajam Boys’ Home who was an architect of deinstitutionalization of child care, high quality of education to poor children, and skill building among the young to compete successfully in the market); and J.M.Sampath (creator of DISCOVERY, a value clarification tool for individual and organizational excellence) stand tall. “The architecture of concurrent field work and block placement of four weeks made me a budding professional during the studentship itself. In addition, we were inducted into social work projects, which involved working together as a team. The projects gave me a tremendous learning to understand social realities, and to work with people belonging to different social backgrounds. On the whole MSSW gave me life skills”: B.Jaikrishna. The two years at MSSW, says J.M.Sampath, “laid a part of the foundation on what I have become today. From the rural camp to the field work at Seva Samajam Boys’ Home, and then to the industries opened my eyes to the real world I lived in and the need to connect with it”.
A book of this nature has been a difficult effort at 77. But the encouragement and support of many well-wishers made it possible. My son K.N.Ajith has been a source of strength all through in various ways without which this book would not have been a reality. P.P.Sukumaran (President-HR, GVK Group), J.M.Sampath (Managing Director, Arpitha Associates) and B. Jaikrishna (President- HR, Amarraja Group) supported the publication of the book wholeheartedly. I am deeply indebted to Suku, Sampath and JK, my former students. My daughter Minii was also helpful.
The articles in the book are written by eminent persons in their fields of interest. They found time to write the articles of high quality. Professors R.R.Singh and B.Devi Prasad were very supportive. Dr.B.Devi Prasad also suggested the second part of the title of the book, that is, “An Uncertain Future”. Shanthi, Nadarajah, Sampath, Nalini and Annie were my students at MSSW. Joe (Henry D’Souza) and I worked together at MSSW, and we have been close friends for nearly four decades. Kalpana is like a member of my family. I thank each one of them for their affection.
Institute of Social Work and Research, a training, research and consultancy institute, has sponsored the publication of this book. I am grateful to the Institute.
I am grateful to Professor K.V. Ramana, former Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University, for writing the foreword of this book. Prof. Ramana was the President of the Association of Schools of Social Work in India during the finest period of ASSWI, when I had the opportunity to be the General Secretary. We worked as a team with Dr. S .R. Billore, the Treasurer and other members of the Executive Committee.
I have the privilege of dedicating this book to my Alma Mater, the Madras School of Social Work; its founder the late Mrs. Mary Clubwala Jadhav; its most distinguished alumnus Mr. M.S.S.Nambudiri; and my teacher and former Director Professor K. N. George.
My young friend Mr. M .H. Ramesha is a dynamic social work professional and a committed publisher of social work and social development books under the auspices of Niruta Publications, which he founded. I thank him for publishing this book.
I am also grateful to Ms. Anitha Ashok of Niratanka for her enthusiastic support.
Dr. T.K. Nair