The Indian journal of Social Work, Vol. XX, No. 3 (December 1959). W E L...
The Indian journal of Social Work, Vol. XX, No. 3 (December 1959).
W E L F A R E S E R V I C E S F O R T H E A G E D AND T H E I N F I R M
D R . G. A. A M E S U R
In the changing sociological conditions, the problem of the aged and the infirm is
becoming acute. It is further made difficult by urbanisation and disintegration of the joint
family life. T h e author pleads in the following lines for the welfare services for the aged
and the infirm.
Dr. Amesur, M.S. (Lond.) is a member of the National Advisory Council for the
Education of the Handicapped, India, and Advisory Committee for the Special Employment
Exchange for the Physically handicapped, Bombay. He was also sometime member of the
Indian Planning Commission's Working-Group on Social Welfare ( I I I ) Plan and Chairman
of its Sub-Group on the Welfare of the Handicapped, the Aged and the Infirm. He was
Professor of Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases, Grant Medical College, Bombay and the
President of the Association of Otolaryngologists of India.
This is a new approach to an old problem, the newer concept of small size families, the
necessitated by the changing sociological idea of living under one roof is breaking down
conditions. T h e problem was as old as the and a tendency is growing up to regard that
world itself, and was known to primitive the older members are not the responsibility
societies as well. Solutions adopted have of the youngsters. This concept is growing and
varied at different times. Initially it was the has to be accepted as a part of the new social
family group, later individual effort, savings— order, to avoid dissentions in the family. T h e
compulsory and otherwise—pension systems, growing way of life is individualistic, where
mutual aid societies, etc., but all these the conjugal type of family, i.e., the married
provided a limited coverage and for a limited couple and their unmarried children, offers
section of the population. Their failure has limited scope for older people. This is not
led to a special study of the problem. It had to only due to constant increase in the number
be recognised that the prosperity of the present
of aged group, because of the longer expec-
generation was m a d e possible by the efforts of
tancy of life, but to a continuous process of
the older one. Study from the h u m a n angle, urbanisation.
inspired by social justice was thus called for.
With the first symptoms of family disinte-
A new social phase has thus set in, followed gration the older members found themselves
by formulation of provisions for social security.
alone, lacking the basic means of subsistence
and reduced to almost despair. T h u s the
India is primarily a land of villages. T h e psychological need for security was justified
basic factor in its family life has been respect by the desire to avoid degradation of the
for the older members. Age confers on them a individual and weakening of the family.
prestige and authority which are hardly found
elsewhere. This conception still holds good
In formulating any plan, it has to be
and the older members have taken for granted
accepted that there is more room for old
that they will be looked after by their children
people in the traditionally rural family than
and relatives. T h e post-war and post-
there is in the urban one. Food and accommo-
independence periods with their stress on dation—two of the vital needs—are more
rapid industrialisation, and with the resultant easily secured in the village than they are in
transition from a rural to an urban society, the town. Even with the present tempo of
with the ever-growing economic difficulties, industrialisation, the changes in the villages
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DR. C. A. AMESUR
progress slowly, and the newer needs are few. Centre. The welfare officers should have a
It would, therefore, be desirable in distinct duty to carry out certain aid
formulating any plan to encourage looking programmes, the broad outlines of which are
after the old people in their village embodied underneath:—
surroundings, looked after by their relatives,
1. Living Aid Programme.
friends and neighbours. Attention even in a food, clothing and other items of daily life.
well-organised home does not come up to The ideal accommodation will be the district
what a 'home' offers.
where they have lived, not separated from
The problem in the urban population is their younger generation, in comfortable
somewhat different. Supporting those out-
houses or flats with modern conveniences,
side the family circle, i.e., unmarried children shared domestic services offering maximum of
has become difficult, in fact impossible. It independence and full recreational facilities.
becomes of added significance as the aged These can be substituted for normal homes,
group increases year by year, because of longer if they provided all reasonable needs and
life expectancy. The progress that the medical amenities.
science has made has considerably retarded
The homes should be open to all residents
senility, still the employers refuse to employ of the area controlled by the specific local
old people in paid jobs, beyond a certain body, and will thus provide for the equitable
chronological age limit, which is considered distribution of the burden between one
by most people to be notoriously low. The authority and another. As all people are
old age should be determined more by entitled to a reasonable minimum standard
biological or physiological (or both) capacities of living, 'need' should be the sole criterion
than by chronological number of years.
for admission. Certain limitations have
obviously to be imposed depending on the
There is considerable scope for employment income and property possessed by the
for aged workers in alternative jobs. The individual. The public assistance programme
tempo of modern industrialisation might not should fill in the last resort, minimum require-
favour such a solution, but the study of ments of the needy.
alternative employment opportunities for the
elderly has become an economic necessity. The
A standard charge should be laid down by
prejudices of the employers and of the public the local body, which may vary from area to
have to be overcome and the problem calls area. Ability to pay may have to be assessed
for an urgent review.
by the local authority, taking full facts of the
case in consideration, including any commit-
Some suggestions of facilities to be
ments that might have been entered into at
the time admission is sought. Malnutrition,
The approach should be conciliatory and poor housing, overcrowding, lack of hygiene
courteous as old people may be unwilling to and most important psychological factors of
accept services provided, because such may be stress and strain have to be eliminated.
considered as 'charity' which the old people
Rules and regulations for admission should
may not be willing to accept. The provision be simple but comprehensive; while providing
of welfare services will be the duty of the for all comforts and freedom of residents
Local Bodies as also their administrative should cover all possible contingencies. The
control, though the schemes drawn will have homes should be of mixed nature so that
to be approved both by the States and the husband and wife may not be separated.
W E L F A R E SERVICES FOR T H E AGED AND I N F I R M
1 5 9
Small rooms for married couples and larger inspections and upgrading of such in order to
ones accommodating four to five persons for maintain a minimum standard of efficiency.
those who desire, should not be left out.
Mobile medical units, with specialists' visits
should form a regular feature of this aid.
T h e larger amount of spare time, unless Medical aid is a specialised form of social
well occupied, is liable to result in vegetative service and is characterised by the emphasis
existence, senile decay, a n d loss of hope and on help in the social and emotional problems
the will to live, unless they are provided with that affect a patient during his illness and its
suitable occupations in which they would feel cure.
happy. An administrative welfare officer
should not only have an adequate training
A first aid box with the welfare officer will
for his task but also have a flair for his work. meet all emergencies; a part time officer for
Some of the accepted settings for this are larger homes and a 'on when required basis'
Tor smaller ones. For cases of serious nature
needing hospitalisation, prior arrangements
Facilities for conversation, exchange of with hospitals in the neighbourhood will be
views, indoor and outdoor games, walks, necessary. So also for ambulance services.
gardening, poultry keeping, basket making,
A sort of home nursing, home help service,
reading, music, cinema, radios, kathas,
a family doctor, hospital facilities, hearing aids,
(religious sermons), religious recitals, dances, spectacles, financial aid, friendly visits,
excursions are some of the items for guidance personal visits, chiropody and barber's services,
to which many more could be added. T h e r e laundry, mobile meals, mobile libraries, film
are pastimes in which old people can play shows, recreation clubs, transport facilities for
an active part and there are others in which excursions, facilities for temple, mosque or
they merely sit back and watch a n d listen. church visits, facility for information and
T h e welfare officer should be fully conversant advice, emergency card for assistance,
with the past histories of his men a n d should telephone numbers, for the same in places
choose those that would be most suitable. where such a system operates are likely to be
T h e principle is t h a t it should not be that highly appreciated. For purposes of revival of
years are added to life but that life is added interest in the aged, debates, conferences,
committees are helpful. Radio or Television
2. Medical Aid.
—For a successful, healthy, broadcasts, newspaper publicity, specialised
pleasant life at any stage an efficient medical programmes on national holidays of
aid both preventive and curative and a good importance, celebrations of 'special days for
standard of public services is of paramount the old' will, one gathers, be highly
importance. T h e more advanced the age and
the more the under-development of the part
Co-operation of voluntary bodies where
of the country, the greater will be the need they exist, on basis of subsidy or employment
for an efficient service. While in towns there of their services on agreed terms will be a
has been a growing number of government welcome innovation.
medical agencies and voluntary ones as well,
the village conditions in this respect leave
T h e budget for financing of the scheme will
much to be desired. In villages clinics a n d be borne by the local bodies, the State and
hospitals such as exist, both under public and the Centre on equitable basis.
under voluntary auspices, should be enlisted
3. Assistance at Death.-
—All old people in
for medical aid. T h e r e should be periodical hospitals should be placed on the dangerously
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D R . C. A. A M E S U R
ill list; when so placed they should have the
Schedule of charges may be made in
benefit of full religious consolation. Provision accordance with their incomes a n d capacity
for burial or cremation, etc., in the event of to pay may be formulated. This may be
death in accordance with their religious faith relaxed by the Superintendent in deserving
or their expressed wishes be provided for.
T h e science and study of pathology of old
As pointed out in an earlier paragraph
age has already considerably advanced and India is a land of villages. The great majority
specialised training of doctors be intensified, of the population resides in rural environ-
and Geriatrics be established in universities as ments. Consequently, the great majority of
a special science in the Faculty of Medicine. the aged and the infirm are also to be found
Statistics for the aged can best be compiled
in the villages.
from census figures. T h e figures for the last
Bearing this important consideration in
census and the anticipated figures for the next mind it is necessary to suggest services which
census are embodied herewith; this will form will reach at least a fraction of the rural
the basis of calculation for the numbers of population during the foreseeable future. The
old people in the Groups of (a) 65 to 74 and
suggestions made in the preceding paragraphs
(b) 75 and over.
would benefit a very substantial number of the
Population of India in 1951 was 361.3 aged and the infirm living in urban or even
millions and that of J a m m u and Kashmir in semi-urban areas. But the establishment of
1952 of 3.67 thus totalling 364.97 millions. homes with modern conveniences will
T h e normal growth during the last decade probably not be possible in rural areas in the
was 13.4%. From this one finds 202 lakhs of
near future, particularly during the T h i r d
people over 60 in 1951, and in age-group, Plan Period.
65-74 there were 38,87,562 males and
39,75,667 females; and in age-group 75 and
On account of the all most primitive state
over 16,29,982 males and 17,56,145 females. of communications in most rural areas, even
the provision of spasmodic domiciliary services
Expected population of India in 1961 will such as the supply of freshly cooked meals at
be 411.7 millions, in 1971 will be 463.1 reasonable prices, home helps, etc. might not
millions and in 1981 will be 532.6 millions.
be feasible in rural areas at the present stage.
4. Welfare for the Infirm.
—Most of the In view of this it seems that the best course
patients are discharged from the hospitals after will be to devise the means whereby the aged
their treatment and care but are not in a state
and the infirm continue to be looked after
to return to their duties. Their ordinary by their own family or relatives. But in
homes do not give them adequate facilities for days of ever growing conciousness of
their rapid recuperation.
individual responsibility and the rising prices
it is absolutely essential to provide an incentive
Convalescence homes for such people would
for the family or for those relatives who
markedly help them to recuperate rapidly. undertake to look after their aged and infirm.
T h e homes should be pleasantly situated with This incentive should come in the form of a
all modern conveniences and adequate small pension which should be given by the
State Governments or the Local Bodies.
Stay should ordinarily be limited to four Perhaps the Government of India could share
weeks except in the cases of the aged and very
a part of the cost of pilot pension schemes
infirm—when it may be relaxed to six weeks. undertaken by the State Governments or the
W E L F A R E SERVICES FOR T H E AGED AND I N F I R M
1 6 1
Local Authorities. This pension should be the Indian Factories Act to the effect that all
given after taking into account some other the industrial workers who become incapable
of work on account of advancing age or
infirmity should be given a pension by their
I. Whether or not the person concerned industrial establishments in accordance with
is a member of the joint family;
their status, the number of years they have
I I . T h e monthly income in cash or kind worked and similar other criteria, will go a
of the joint family;
long way in making a substantial provision
I I I . T h e income of the person concerned for the aged and the infirm both in urban
prior to his becoming unable to e a r n ; and rural areas.
a n d
Should I hire workers over 50? Should
I V . Whether or not the person concerned I retain workers over 65? H o w can I use
older workers? Such questions are being
thoughtfully considered every day by owners
Since the number of persons who are likely and managers of small businesses. There are
to claim pensions of this nature must nearly three million people over 65 working
necessarily be very large and since the in a wide range of occupations in the U.S.A.
financial resources available for schemes of this
Older workers can be a bigger asset t h a n
kind will be very limited, it is suggested that many small business owners realise. Millions
schemes of this kind should be undertaken in of these workers are available but are not
select rural areas particularly where the being effectively used. Behind this fact are
population consists predominantly of landless various management misconceptions about
older people: for example, t h a t there is greater
absenteeism among t h e m ; that they have great
O n e of the inevitable concomitances of accident rates; that they are less productive;
industrialisation is the steady movement of the
and that they retain old-fashioned attitudes.
population from rural to urban areas. On Recent U.S.A. studies, however, dispute these
reaching old age many of the people who had generalisations. Older workers are often
migrated into cities and towns in search of found to be better than the youngsters. As
work, would like to go back to rural areas a class, they are absent less, have fewer
where they can spend the evenings of their accidents, produce at comparable levels at
lives in an atmosphere of calm and quiet way least until the late fifties, and frequently
from the hustle and bustle of work in the retain youthful, forward-looking attitudes
industrial towns. But they can do this only if past the seventies. There is no argument with
some financial provision is made for them the claim that older people have certain
because they have quite often had to cut limitations. Physical strength decreases with
themselves off from the joint family and have age, so does speed. But many essential jobs
in many cases h a d to either give up their demand neither. Assignments like quality
rights on the land they own or are no longer control and inspection are often handled
familiar a n d capable of undertaking agri-
better by older workers. Employment services
and sometimes large companies can help in
finding capable older people. Careful selec-
At present those who sustain injuries tion and placement will make adjustments
during the course of their work are covered easier for them and for employees already in
by the provisions of Workmen's Compen-
sation Act. It seems t h a t an amendment to
1 6 2
DR. C. A. AMESUR
1. "Aiding Older People," Federal Coun-
8. Social Welfare Services in Japan (1958).
cil on Aging (U.S.A.),
9. Social Welfare in United Kingdom
2. Baill, I. M. (1955)—"The Farmer and
10. Stahler, Abrahm (1957) : "The Older-
Old Age Security," pp. 1-5.
Worker, Job Problems and Their Solu-
3. Cohen, Wilbur J. (1958): The Forand
tions. Monthly Labour Review,
Bill: Hospital Insurance for the Aged.
11. Towle, Charlotte (1957)—Common
The American Journal of Nursing
12. United Nations (1956): "European
4. Ewing, Oscar R., "Questions and
Seminar on Social Services for the
Answers on Social Security in U.S.A."
5. International Social Service Review
— 13. United Nations (1955): "European
Seminar on the Rehabilitation of the
6. Lakin, Martin and Dray, Melvin
(1958): "Psychological Aspects of
Activity For The Aged." The American
14. Bluestone, E. M., "Current Problems in
Journal of Occupational Therapy:
Vol. X I I , No. 4, pp. 1-5.
7. Rosen, John C. (1957): "Utilizing 15. Reedy, Corbett, "Rehabilitation Pro-
Older Workers in Small Industries."
blems of the Aging Chronically Ill,"
Small Business Administration:
Virginia Medical Monthly,
1957, pp. 1-4.
April 1957, pp. 187-189.
T h e author expresses his very deep gratitude to the following for their co-operation: —
1. T h e Japanese Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
2. T h e British Ministry of Health.
3. Department of Health, Education and Welfare (U.S.A.).
4. T h e Chairman of the Presidents (U.S.A.) Committee for the Handicapped People to
5. T h e United Nations Geneva Office of the Technical Assistance Administration.
6. T h e Indian Ministry of Education and the Planning Commission.
7. Dr. R. H. Lulla whose assistance has been most valuable in the compilation of the
material and preparation of this paper and finally
8. Shri Lal Advani of the Ministry of Education ( I n d i a ) .
The Indian Journal of Social Work, Vol. XX, No. 3 (December 1959).
A T R A I N E D S O C I A L W O R K E R I N C O M M U N I T Y P R O J E C T
A D M I N I S T R A T I O N
SRI R A M G O P A L SRIVASTAVA
T h e author discusses in the following lines the community development programmes
and points out that the people should be made to realise that they should not remain inert.
This understanding, says the author, can be developed and the ego strengthened only when
they interact with one another through various programmes.
Mr. Srivastava is a lecturer in the Institute of Social Sciences, Kashividyapith, Varanasi.
A committee for Evaluation and Public individualised help, not an integrated
Participation in the community development
approach to their living problems.
programme was set up by the State Govern-
ment in M a y 1958 under the chairmanship
Realising all this lacuna in the former
of Sri Govind Sahai M.L.A. to study and approach to help rural people, the national
evaluate the working of the Community government, after independence, thought of
Development Programme in U t t a r Pradesh. a scheme of rural community organisation in
D u r i n g the course of investigation the the form of community development scheme.
Committee visited Kashividyapith, Varanasi T h e scheme initially started as a Govern-
where discussion took place on various points ment's project with people's participation but
of the Community Development Programme. later on reversed it to People's Project with
On behalf of Kashividyapith, a memorandum,
drafted by me, was submitted to the came in the wake of experience t h a t the
Committee. This M e m o r a n d u m was prepared
Government should not dominate the whole
from social work angle, and was as follows: show, but an urge to develop and grow must
come from within the people, who are going
T w o h u n d r e d years of foreign rule had to be the beneficiaries of the scheme. T h e
completely broken down the fine fabrics of persons, whose life is to be reoriented to suit
old rural social organisation—a well-knit one. the spirit of progress, must not remain inert
T h e social institutions of joint family, village and silent spectators. Unless they are
panchayat, and village—community are no enthused to understand, how their participa-
more in existence. Organised and planned tion is going to do good to them in a short
group experience—the basis of individual and time, no Governmental efforts could solve
social progress—is no more a reality. Life has their problems for long time to come, con-
become more or less stagnant, as the very sidering the vastness of India's territory and
basis of social relationship is missing. Various her increasing population. In other words,
attempts were m a d e before independence to Government did right in recognising and
help the rural people to grow and develop, but
accepting the right of people to manage their
never to participate in group life, much less own affairs. T h e same thing is emphasised in
to lead the group. T h e result of all this was training students for Social Work. T h e ego of
t h a t the departments of cooperatives, agri-
people has to be strengthened, by helping the
culture, health, animal husbandry, educa-
people to have a clear understanding of them-
tion and m a n y others were meant just to give selves, their strengths and weaknesses, and
1 6 4
SRI R A M G O P A L SRIVASTAVA
their goals which they wish to achieve. This guide of people—the same we wish in Com-
understanding can be developed, and the ego munity Development Scheme. T h e administra-
strengthened only, when the people will tive ability is required in understanding the
interact with one another though various language of people's behaviour a n d to use its
programmes envisaged in the community own behaviour to the best interests of the peo-
development scheme. This interaction will ple. This is based on the concept t h a t all
provide an opportunity to analyse some of behaviour in purposive and that the activity
their expressed feelings—both negative and of people, individually as well as collectively,
positive, without being lost in them. In Social is significant of them even if it seems meaning-
Work, we help the students to understand less to the observer or layman. People re-
and analyse the feelings of individuals and act both positively and negatively to
groups without feeling like them. Better satisfy their ego and their needs. T h e
understanding and ego strengths can also be work of the administration is to help
developed, if the administrative machinery people to analyse their own behaviour a n d
works with people in the way discussed below.
what it will mean to them ultimately. If some
people are not cooperating with others in
Right to Differ.
—Each individual and constructing a road or keeping village clean
group is unique, and each has a right to differ
and sanitary it m a y be due to their negative
from one another. Just as they have right to feelings towards some body—some group of
differ at the time of voting, similarly we have
people, village itself or against Government
the right to differ in shaping their own social and so on, or it m a y be their lack of hope
and economic life. T h e administration should
that their life can be better. These feelings
help the people to understand this t h a t each are to be analysed by the administration and
should have respect for the differences with then help such people to understand t h a t this
others, as every one has right to differ. Ins-
work is not t h e work for Government or for
pite of differences, they should attempt to some group of people, but it is for their own
adjust, to coexist, work together, and to talk self. If village is clean and sanitary, if there
the point of difference again and again in a are good roads, in between two villages, it
peaceful way so that a workable media is will ultimately help them from sickness or
arrived at, and that will lead to further in keeping contact with another villages. In
growth and development of the people and all cases, administration has to accept people
society. Whatever hostility and aggression as well as the group of people as they are,
that follows interaction among the people (the level of their development) but not their
should be regarded by administration as behaviour, if it is worth disapproving. T h e
normal reactions of h u m a n beings, because of
disapproved behaviour has to be studied for
the ambivalent n a t u r e and unconscious understanding the ways in which they can be
strivings of h u m a n beings. Administration helped to change and grow.
must not be disturbed over it, but should talk
the matter over with the people why they are
Ability and Decision.
hostile towards one another and what they ability is required in supporting individuals
want. If the administration is lost in the and groups to make decisions and carry them
feelings of one group or another, it will lose out themselves. It is not the proper way for
the respect and confidence of the other group,
the administration to take decisions them-
which will very much hinder in its helping selves, and then asking people to implement
role. It cannot be a friend, philosopher and them. A decision to do whatever they like
A TRAINED SOCIAL WORKER IN C. P. A.
for their uplift can only be taken by
T h e long awaited report of this committee
the people themselves, if we wish to make came out only recently with hopes for trained
this scheme a people's movement. Of course, social workers. T h e over-all findings of this
they will require help of others in making committee in relation to objectives as enun-
a n d carrying out those decisions. Even if they
ciated by the planning committee are t h a t
make wrong decisions, they must be allowed so far as the short-term and limited objectives
to carry those out, to see for themselves, the of the expansion of certain agricultural
mistake they committed in rejecting the advice
techniques, work programmes and to some
of administration. This trial and error extent the health programme in the country
method will earn for administration the side are concerned, the agency of national
respect and confidence of the people, which extension service has rendered useful service
to me as a social worker is m u c h more a real by channelising people's energy towards the
and tangible achievement, as compared to implementation of such programmes and by
what material targets ignoring h u m a n providing a new administrative machinery
development and growth, could be expected with a welfare bias. Assessment against the
to achieve. W h a t is required of administra-
background of the bigger objectives as
tion is to help individuals and groups in initiated by the Planning Commission and the
widening the horizons of their knowledge and
National Development Committee, however,
understanding, so as to prepare them for little progress has been m a d e through these
assuming greater and greater responsibilities institutions in the direction of social and
to come in the wake of their social economic economic transformation and all-sided village
upsurge. T h e moment, the people begin development and of change in the mental
to understand the benefit of self-help, mutual-
attitude of the people towards progress in
help and the advantages of planned group thinking and social cohesion. T h e committee
life, they are likely to develop their ego into also accounted for the following causes for
a social ego. There lies the seeds of progress. this slow progress in this scheme.
(1) T h e programme and the objectives
So far two attempts have been made, moved on parallel lines and ware governed
not to help, but to dominate them through by a different set of conditions.
fair or foul means, to force them to co-
(2) T h e main emphasis remained on agri-
operate by offering attractive of better seeds culture and work programmes and fulfilment
a n d fertilizers, irrigation facilities, housing of physical targets;
materials and so on. This leads to the result
(3) Limitation of rules and procedures;
of their having withdrawn so far their sincere
participation. Whatever participation the
(4) Lack of emphasis on objectives, con-
administration claims is not the real partici-
tinuity of programmes, lack of constant
pation, because it was just to extract material
mental feeding, disorganised n a t u r e of
advantages to satisfy their personnel gains. drives, etc.
T h e social gains, through planned group
On the basis of the above study and
efforts, are yet a dream. A social worker well
findings, the committee suggested:
. trained in the art of helping people, indivi-
(1) T h a t simultaneous emphasis be m a d e
dually a n d collectively and consciously is on making people conscious about every pro-
expected to fulfil the duties of Block gramme, providing activities for all age groups
Development Officers in a proper way as and every class of people, and linking schools
1 6 6
SRI R A M G O P A L SRIVASTAVA
(2) T h a t certain structural changes from achieve physical target has been found out to
village to state level be m a d e so t h a t the be due to lack of conscious efforts for them.
pattern of administration may be simplified This cannot be done unless the Government
and the various functions from village to state
Personnel themselves work consciously with
level may be co-ordinated and integrated to people. A trained social worker is m a d e to
learn during his training period how to work
(3) T h a t side by side with development consciously with the people, which includes
machinery the administration personnel as a conscious awareness of his self and self of
whole must also be kept abreast of develop-
others, and conscious application of know-
ment programmes so t h a t their overall ledge of social work principles a n d concepts
attitude remains in conformity with the new in the field situations. A trained social
ideals of t h e state.
worker knows t h a t no change in people is
(4) T h a t the post of village level worker likely to come unless he helps the people,
and panchayat secretary be merged so t h a t both individually and collectively, to gear their
greater integration and pooling at district programmes towards goals they cherish. At
and state level be possible. A separate ministry
no stage he could think of people moving
for community project and a greater associa-
away from their objectives, if he is working
tion of the members of the state with the consciously with them. He will also help
community project by way of allocating people to start with those programmes, where
regions and districts to various ministries has there is the greatest amount of agreement,
also been recommended.
and which could be started with least
(5) T h a t all the development departments resistence from the people.
should work under the broad guidance of the
—In social work training,
Development Commissioner who should co-
we also emphasise co-ordination in welfare
ordinate their working.
services to people. T h e greater t h e over-
(6) T h a t the time has come when the lapping of welfare services by different
community project programmes should be departments the greater it will be confusing
reshaped in furtherance of the overall objec-
to the people, more so the illiterate rural
tives of socialistic transformation. Such a people, over ridden with greater rigidity in
programme should be divided into four their thinking and action. The recommenda-
tion of the committee on the need for greater
(a) Educational, (b) Economic, (c) Cul-
integration and co-ordination among the
tural and (d) Institutional, with an ideological
welfare and development departments is no
bias permitting all these activities. T h e pro-
big a contribution to trained social workers
gramme of transformation should be initiated in their thinking about community develop-
under the broad leadership of Gram Pan-
ment scheme, as the same has always been
chayats and should aim at all-sided develop-
advocated by them. T h e co-ordination of the
activities should be one of the main functions
(7) T h a t measures should be adopted for of the block development officers, which
evaluation of the programmes in future.
could better be handled by a trained social
T h e above findings and suggestions of the worker than any body else because of his
committee are a great victory for the trained superior knowledge and understanding of the
social workers, as they have been indirectly problems t h a t develop in co-ordination at the
challenged to come to the field. T h e failure to
individual, group and community levels and
A T R A I N E D SOCIAL W O R K E R IN C. P. A.
1 6 7
how these could be tackled with the help of
been deliberately planned and carried out
social work skills in co-ordination that he with the help of worker to meet the needs
learns in training.
of the individuals and the groups. T h e pro-
In terms of Committee's reommendation grammes is thus a process rather than the
for reshaping the programmes in furtherance periodic culmination of a process. Hence
of the overall objectives of socialistic trans-
complete record of programmes, in terms of
formance under the broad leadership of above definition, of programmes, need to be
G r a m Panchayats, the trained social workers maintained, to facilitate evaluation,which
can do a lot. Take, for instance, the latest could bring forth w h a t the people need, how
socialistic step taken for the rural areas, is they act and re-act as an individual and as a
starting of service co-operatives in each member of the group, how they w a n t to
village, to develop a co-operative attitude proceed to their goals, w h a t are the various
among rural people, in terms of farming blocks, which come in the way of smooth
(production, distribution financing, etc.) and functioning of programmes and m a n y other
other activities of life, namely recreation things. This unfolds the entire psychology of
education, health and sanitation special and the rural people, which in term will help
cultural programmes. Transformation in-
social workers to think a n d make their
variably brings disturbance in the emotional future plans.
life of the people, as it makes them feel
To sum up, a trained social worker will
insecure in certain respects. T h e y feel like to work with rural people by accepting
ambivalent in accepting or rejecting this the following assumptions and principles:
change either in their thinking or action or
both. Hence m a n y problems will be arising
(1) His respect for rural people as h u m a n
out of this transformative step at individual, being, and their social organizations and his
group and community levels, and can better belief in their right to manage their own lives.
be handled by a trained social worker, who
(2) His acceptance of each individual
has the understanding of the individual and and group in rural areas as unique, and of
group dynamics, and of the skills in social the right of each to
be different from every
case work. Social group work, and Com-
munity Organization and their application.
(3) His ability to feel with rural people
Again the committee has given one more individually and in groups, without feeling
valuable suggestion in terms of adopting like them,.
measures to evaluate the programmes in
(4) His ability to accept the hostility and
future. This means t h a t no scientific evalua-
aggression as well as love and affection of
tion has so far been possible for lack of individuals and groups with whom he works
proper records. Records of programmes in rural areas, as normal reaction of human
should not be only of the activities t h a t beings towards one another. He will not feel
happen in the village but of the entire disturbed over their behaviour.
relationship and interactions t h a t took place
in the formulation and execution of
(5) His ability to understand the pattern
programmes. T h e word " P r o g r a m m e " to a of behaviour and to use his own behaviour
social worker includes the entire range of to the best interest of the individuals and
activities, relationship, interactions, and expe-
groups with whom he is working in rural
riences—individual and group—which have areas.
1 6 8
SRI R A M G O P A L SRIVASTAVA
(6) His ability to accept the concept that
(14) His ability to accept the limitations
all behaviour is purposive and that the of agency functions and to encourage the
activity of the individuals and groups in rural people to use the services of other agencies
areas is significant to the people involved in the rural community for help with needs
even if it seems meaningless to observers.
which his agency is not equipped to serve.
(15) His ability to represent his agency
(7) His ability to accept individuals and (Community Development Blocks) effec-
groups even if he must disapprove of their tively in co-operative efforts of the rural
(8) His ability to accept the role of
(16) His ability to see the relationship
authority with those individuals and groups between the interests and needs of the parti-
who need the security of limitations and cular rural people with whom he is working
and those of the nation-as-a whole, and to
take responsibility for participating in social
(9) His ability to use authority without action about the unmet needs as an employee
of the Community Development Blocks, as
(10) His ability to be permissive and to a members of the social work profession, a n d
widen horizon where individuals and groups as a responsible citizen.
need to be supported in assuming greater
T h e above material presented to show how
personal and collective responsibility.
a trained social worker is a best fitted person
to help smooth functioning of the community
(11) His ability to support individuals and development scheme, will help the Govern-
groups in factoring out the issues in problems ment to realize that a change is required in
facing them, yet to refrain from indicating personnel policy to administer the scheme in
the spirit in which it was thought out before.
(12) His ability to support individual and To visualize conscious efforts on the part of
groups in making and carrying out their own the rural people administration has to see con-
sciously that in a people's movement
Governmental efforts should come in, when
(13) His ability to use his understanding it is needed and asked for by the people. Any
of the structures of the particular group with thing short of this approach will collapse in
which he is working and to interpret the at the start, and make people doubt the
limitations of the functions provided by the bonafides of Government in declaring this
structure on the members of the group.
scheme a people's movement.