July issue of Samajakaryada Hejjegalu (Social Work Foot Prints) has a collection of good articles starting with T.K.Nair’s important contribution on social work profession in India. Social work has been recognised as a profession in most countries in the world. In the article “Social Work in India: A Semi-Profession”, Nair takes a contrarian view as far as India is concerned. The article explains social welfare, social service and social work in detail ; describes emergence of social work as a profession globally ; and examines professionalisation of social work in India. An interesting aspect of the article is the reference to social work in Cuba. Nair, with more than fifty years of experience as a social work educator and a researcher, concludes that social work in India is not a profession as of now. It is only a semi-profession.
“Health, Health Care and Hospitals” by K.Prabakar traces the history of hospitals, analyses the concept of health, and defines hospital. He also examines hospital as a social organisation and hospital as a social system. Professionalisation in health care and interdependence of different functionaries towards the goal of good patient care are discussed critically in detail by Prabakar. The recommendations of important government appointed committees starting from the well-known Bhore Committee also form part of the article. Health is a basic human necessity and this well-researched article by Prabakar is quite timely.
Discrimination of women at the work place and sexual harassment of working women have been on the increase in India despite the landmark judgement of the Supreme Court in 1997 in the case of Vishakha and others Versus State of Rajasthan and others known as the Vishakha Guidelines. These guidelines were superceded by the Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act,2013. India has ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the 2013 Act arose from the commitment of India to the UN Convention. Manjumohan Mukherjee in his article “Gender Discrimination at Work Place” discusses the problems faced by working women, the socio-legal dimensions of sexual discrimination and harassment, and the role of social work in dealing with this grave problem.
Self Help Groups of women (SHG) have become an effective anti-poverty strategy in India, and this has been discussed in detail by R.Jayachandran in the article “SHG and Women Empowerment”. The author has been very much active in the SHG movement in Tamilnadu. The article describes the evolution of SHGs in India and the resultant benefits for the under-served population especially the women. SHGs have become a movement in India within a span of three decades. From the simple savings and credit groups, SHGs have evolved as village-level community-based organisations which besides taking care of the financial needs of the marginalised communities cater to various community development issues.
The first Kannada article is on “Change and Development in Lambani Society” by C.R.Gopal. It is based on his extensive research study of the Lambani tribe in Bellary district. The study is aimed at assessing the impact of the Special Component Plan (SCP) of the government of India. The article analyses the areas of change as well as the mode and speed of change in the economic, social, religious, cultural and political aspects of the lives of the Lambani community after the implementation of the SCP.
“Impact of Communication Policy and Culture at Work Place” by Ram K. Navarathna is the second article in Kannada. The article explains the importance of communication at the work place and the problems arising out of the blocks in communication. The article also looks at the advantages of healthy communication in solving work related and personal problems of personnel, and the impact of these on the over all productivity of the organisation.
“Navaratnas of Professional Social Work”, started from the April issue, is a series on the outstanding contribution of women professional social workers in transforming millions of lives. The life and service of these social work professionls are definite to motivate social work students, young social workers, and even others to work for enriching human lives in a significant manner. These real life histories supplement and strengthen the theoretical instruction imparted to the BSW and MSW students. This issue portrays the extraordinary social worker Padma Shri Dr. Shanthi Ranganathan, who overcame her intense personal tragedy to give hopes and new lives to numerous families of the victims of alcoholism and drug addiction by starting a world class Hospital exclusively for the treatment and rehabilitation of patients suffering from substance use disorders. Her profile has also been translated into Kannada in this issue for the benefit of the Kannada diaspora.
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