SELFLESS SOCIAL WORK
Since the government has neither the will nor proper personnel to enter the field of Social work in the country there is a spurt of NGOs .This has been the trend since the colonial rule .It has continued as so many other trends of the past have. The only difference is that NGOs have been financially supported by the government. Just a checkup will show the good or bad traits of the government in the NGOs too.
Gone are the days when social work was handled by Swami Vivekananda in the form of Ramakrishna Mission, Swami Dayanand under the patronage of Arya Samaj.Both of them were a bit generalized and did not offer a specialized scheme. Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi were the two who took on themselves the work in slums of Calcutta and the upgrading of the scheduled castes throughout the country.Baba Amte, Sunderlal Bahuguna, Medha Patkar and many others were more concerned with the rural setting and the uprooting of villages in the dam areas and the ecological devastation by cutting the forests. The catholic missionaries took the cause of the tribals. But as they were basically interested in conversions they created divisions in the tribal belt instead of uniting them and upholding their culture. None of all these was specialized in a particular aspect of social work concerning for example the problems in family, the children, the mentally retarded, the elderly people ,women atrocities, sex workers, prison problems,AIDS,ecological awareness, criminology and maintenance of cultural ethos.
Initially social work was not a profession and the organizers did not take help from the government or assistance from academicians. Now it has become a means of earning a livelihood too of course helping others remained a motive. Certain colleges and universities have started courses related to social work, many offer degree courses. Some offer Post Graduation and specialization in criminology, correctional administration, family and child welfare, social welfare administration and rural development. Filed work is also included in these courses so that those who offer these disciplines may work at the grass root level to adjust human behavior and development.
There are more than 40 institutes that offer courses in social work with practical and field work experience. Some courses offered by Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, Delhi School of Social Work, New Delhi; Osmania University,Hyderbad; Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi and Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta are some of the prestigious institutions that offer career courses in Social work.
There are more than 100 qualified doctors and 446 gramin swasthya rakshaks who have been trained from the tribal themselves and look after three to four villages.Kalyan ashrams opens schools and hospitals in the tribal areas throughout the country. It has established a number of schools in the North East too including four in Nagaland. Their total number of projects in September 2000 was 10657.Another NGO Rastrotthana Parishat is working assiduously in the field of education in rural and backward areas of Karnataka. It also runs centers for the afflicted children. It has a unique scheme of running shishu mandirs with 100 per cent contribution from the village people. Every school is looked after by the local people and the young girls or boys dedicate three years of their life for a meager salary that is sufficient only for their food. India actually requires such dedicated selfless social workers who do not run after money and retain the culture of the nation intact without demanding any help from the government. Let us look into our consciousness – are we ready to be such a social worker even for a short period of three years.