“Social Work Education and Practice – Looking back, Looking Ahead” was the theme of the 2022 Gerry Pinto Memorial Annual Lecture held on April 30 at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. More than 110 participants from 30 grassroots organisations, colleges, research institutes and practitioners across India participated in the event which was organised as a tribute to three eminent social work educators: Professors R. R. Singh and H Y Siddiqui, and Dr. Olinda Pereira.
The purpose of the occasion was to galvanise social workers nation-wide to reflect on social work education and practice and to set a roadmap for the 21st century. The panel, which featured both academicians and practitioners was chaired by Prof. (Dr.) Sanjai Bhatt, Department of Social Work, University of Delhi also witnessed Prof. (Dr.) S. M. Sajid, Department of Social Work (Former Registrar and Pro-Vice-Chancellor) Jamia Millia Islamia University, Dr. Digambar Narzary, Chairperson, Nedan Foundation, and Dr. Kalpana Sarathy, Deputy Director of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati Campus share their thoughts on the topic which touched on the role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Prof. (Dr.) Sanjai Bhatt, Department of Social Work, University of Delhi used the term ‘adversity quotient’ to underscore the vast amount of remediation facing NGOs merely to reverse the impacts of COVID, stressing that family support needs to be part of social work methods. In her remarks, Prof. (Dr.) Kalpana Sarathy, Deputy Director, Tata Institute of Social Science, Guwahati Campus (and a Butterflies board member) highlighted the magnitude of work required in the mental health arena. Dr. Digambar Narzary shared his professional experience tackling the trafficking of women and children which led to his launching the NEDAN Foundation. Prof. (Dr.) S.M. Sajid named respect for diversity one of the key values of field of social work.