The moment the words SOCIAL WORK is mentioned a lot of people have the picture of a person/fighter wearing simple cotton clothes and fighting for the rights of people. Equally contradictory was the thought that social work is the domain of people who have earned more than enough so that they can distribute it to the less privileged one and also work done by rich people during their spare time. Though somewhat the truth; but not the entire truth. Till date in India, the concept that there can be a career in this field is beyond imagination.
The changing times have brought equal change in this sphere too. Social work is not just about doing good deeds and helping the under-privileged. Over a period of time, it has evolved into a profession. Correctly it is not a ‘conventional’ career. There are a number of aspects that have made the lives of certain sections of the society quite miserable. Right from disability, drug abuse, poverty, mental ill health, geriatric issues, environmental issues, child/physical abuse, child labour, educational, vocational, hygiene and sanitation, marital issues and many more rising constantly, social work has become a vital need of almost every society today. If you are willing to take up a profession for emotional fulfillment and if your purpose of working is not just financial, this would be the ideal career for you.
Gone are the days when Social work was considered mere passion or passage of time or a religious charity work. Today, one needs to be qualified for the same. A person – holding a Bachelor’s degree like B. A [Social Work] or BSW or a Master’s degree like M.A [Social Work] or MSW is considered a professional social worker. Not to forget that there are courses like MBA [NGO Management], Social Entrepreneurship too.
The most important ingredient is true and genuine feeling to Contribute Positively to the Wellness of Mankind. The other aspects that are needed to be kept in mind are:
- Ability to Solve Problems
- Ability to Work in Difficult Conditions
- Accepting and Tolerating Problems
- Awareness of the Legal aspects
- High Boldness
- Matured Outlook
- No Prejudices about Class, Culture, Religion
- People skills
- Risk-taking ability
The entire world is a place of work for a social worker. Every taxing issue can be taken up as an issue and worked to bring a positive change in the society.
- Beggar Homes
- Community Groups
- Cooperatives & Public Welfare trusts
- Drug Rehabilitation centres
- Educational Institutes
- Governmental Sector
- Rehabilitation centres [for battered women/ physically and mentally challenged/ juveniles]
- Rural & Community Development centre
- Service Organisations like Lions, Rotary and so on
- Slums/ Low-income group
- Special schools
- Women/ widow rehabilitation Centres
Also do not forget that a number of organisations these days have a special cell called as the Corporate Social Responsibility as well as the job opportunities in International Organisations like CRY, UNESCO, WHO, Various Programs of United Nations and many more. A lot of people have a feeling that the pay is not every appealing in this sector. However, that’s not true people do earn well and also have the opportunity to meet people across the country and world for various events.
Just a quick reminder that there are also Social Entrepreneurs like Bindeshwar Pathak [Sulabh International], Anita Ahuja [Conserve India], Vinnet Rai [Aavishkaar Social Venture Fund], Sumita Ghose [Rangsutra], Santosh Parulekar [Pipal Tree] and many more who have made the world a better place for thousands.
Once you have decided to take up this remember that while making the lives of others you end up flourishing your life. This is one field that enriches the life not only of the taker but also the giver.