Mangaluru: Spandana 2019 – Responding to Realities” A National Conference on “Revisiting and Contextualizing Social Work Profession in Contemporary India” was inaugurated at the Maria Paiva Hall of School of Social Work Roshni Nilaya on the 14th of February, 2019 at 10.00 AM. The inaugural ceremony began with the invocation of the Lord’s blessings, lead by the college choir. The distinguished gathering was welcomed by Dr. Meena Monteiro, Dean, Post Graduation Studies, School of Social Work Roshni Nilaya.
The conference was inaugurated by the chief guest, Prof. Y.S. Siddegowda, Vice Chancellor, Tumkur University, along with the other dignitaries present, by lighting the lamps.
Ms. Asha Lobo, Organizing Secretary, Spandana 2019 introduced the theme of the conference.
Speaking about the areas of broad concern for social work profession related to the quests and struggles faced by the marginalised groups in meeting their needs, Ms. Lobo spoke of the roles of, and expectations from educators and practitioners from the field of social work training and profession. “The conference aims at promoting a deeper discussion on the philosophical, ideological, and methodological aspects of social work among the social work educators and practitioners in India. This will enhance the effectiveness of social work education as well as practice in the Indian contexts and pave way for contributing to the global knowledge of social work” were her words, justifying the theme of the conference.
Prof. Evelyn Benis introduced the chief guest to the gathering. Prof. Y.S. Siddegowda began his inaugural address by proudly expressing his joy and gratitude towards the organization on the occasion. Speaking about the revolutionary change in technology, he spoke at length about its impact on the youth of today, and how the globe has adapted easily to it. He also spoke on how social workers can help to reform the society, saying, “Social workers ought to be a facilitator, not a helper. Every person has some potential in him; as social workers, our job is to help the person find those potentials and talents within him. As social work practitioners, honesty, good deeds, humility ought to be our religion. Social work ought to be a people-centric practice, not some evidence-based practice.”
Prof. Y.S Siddegowda elaborated on the concept of converting a classroom into a structured, live laboratorial environment, which the trainers of social work are required to follow in order to create a free atmosphere for free ideas and thoughts to emerge, and in turn, increase knowledge. “A good social work institution is required to practice theory building and theory testing, simultaneously.” He mentioned about encouraging a practice-based theory based on reality is more important than a theory-based practice, where the eroded value system can be restored through thorough efforts and self-consciousness. “It is important to set an example in the society, than merely following existing examples, and bring about a transformational change.” Prof. Siddegowda spoke. Speaking on the medium of instruction, Prof Siddegowda deliberated on the slow death of literature by reading information that is below quality. He spoke about the need for integrated studies of social work, while questioning if mere two years of a masters course is enough. “The last two years need to have a rigorous practice and specialization” he was quoted saying. Prof. Y.S. Siddegowda concluded his inaugural address by thanking the Roshni family and the social work fraternity.
In her presidential address, Ms. Juliet C.J., Principal, School of Social Work Roshni Nilaya, she expressed her gladness in having eminent dignitaries to interact with on the occasion of Spandana 2019. She elaborated on how one can adapt and authenticate social work methods and techniques in today’s modern and changing society.
Ms. Eden Istacky, Student President, Post Graduation Department, proposed the vote of thanks. The inaugural programme concluded with the group photograph with the dignitaries, participants, delegates and students.
Thereafter, a short tea break was followed by the keynote address by Dr. P Ilango, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Member Syndicate, Bharathidasan University, Khajamalai Campus, Tiruchirapali, Tamil Nadu, who deliberated on the upcoming trends in social work.
Dr. B Nalina, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work Bharathiar University, Coimbathore; Dr Olinda Pereira, Founder Principal, and Ms. Philomena Serrao – Ex Principal, School of Social Work Roshni Nilaya was also present among other dignitaries.
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