The Indian Social Work Congress is an initiative of National Association of Professional Social Workers in India (NAPSWI). The third Congress, held between 24 and 26 October 2015 in Ladnun, Rajasthan, marked the silver jubilee of Jain Vishva Bharati University.
The Indian Social Work Congress brings the fraternity of professional social workers together to discuss and deliberate upon the issues related to social work education, practice and research in India. Dr. Rajesh Tandon, as UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, was invited to give the keynote address to open the Congress.
In his keynote speech, Dr Tandon spoke of the need for higher educational institutions to become socially responsible and to promote respectful community-university research partnerships. He reminded the audience, particularly young social work students, that the social work profession today needs to redefine its contemporary identity. As a profession, social work is more than an academic discipline; it has a body of knowledge and a methodology of practice which is unique to its professional identity. The central identity of the profession of social work is to prepare informed and active citizens who engage to make society and its governance democratic and accountable. To ensure this, the current and new professionals in social work need to create mechanisms for benchmarking and upholding standards of learning and practice.
The 2015 MFF-NAPSWI Scholarship were also awarded on the first day of the Congress. The scholarships were awarded to Akhila Besty George and Navprabhat Singh by well-known social activist Aruna Roy. Aruna dedicated her speech to Martha, acknowledging her as a rare person who pursued her commitments fearlessly. It seemed appropriate the first scholarships that take forward Martha’s legacy, who was a victim of senseless violence herself, should be awarded at an institution whose founding disciplines were Jain philosophy and non-violence.
To read Dr Tandon’s keynote speech, click here Keynote Address at Social Work Congress 2015