The Tour Team of S3 MSW safely returned after an enlightening tour in Mumbai city and the outskirts.
The team had left the campus on 3rd and reached Mumbai on 4th morning 11.30 am. The team went to MAM Ashram at Nerul and met Swami Avyamrita. Swamiji has already arranged travel, food and accommodation facilities for us and we enjoyed a great hospitality from him and other relatives of the Ashram.
As a first academic activity, the students were taken to ‘Inorbit’, one of the largest shopping malls of Mumbai. Students just spent a couple of hours in the market and returned to Ashram. The same day there was an evaluation and students shared their reflective comments on ‘the ‘life’ in shopping malls’, ‘shopping malls as a social space’, ‘child labour and beggary in shopping malls’ etc.
The next day (5/12/12) the team went to Rafiq nagar and Baba nagar in Govendi and saw Asia’s largest waste dumping ground, which is in fact, the other side of the coin of the shopping mall which they visited the previous day. The visit was with the help of an agency called Karunya Trust which has been working among the rag pickers. The students were divided into teams and visited a few household in the slum and interacted with people. The students also visited the waste-mountain and understood the real life situation of people there. Afternoon, the team went to Mukti Sadan Foundation, an NGO working among the drug addicts of the city. The students met a few recovering people and interacted with them. The students understood various methods of drug abuse, different therapies etc.
As per the schedule, one full day (6/12/12) has been allocated for Dharavi, the largest slum of Asia. Reaching the spot by 10 am, the team has been divided into four subgroups. All the subgroups visited different areas of the slum. They walked through the narrow lanes where the ‘slum dogs’ of India reside, visited houses and interacted with people. After the visit all the team assembled in a point. The team had an hour-long interaction session with Mr. Prabhakar Satam, Asst. Commissioner of Police, Dharavi. He spoke about types and rate of crimes at Dharavi, the intervention of Police, Community Policing etc. He calmly answered all the questions of the students. The team also visited the grassroot organization Daya Sadan which is working in Dharavi. The team also interacted with Mr. Babu Korido a Social Worker working on RTE and religious harmony in Dharavi.
On 7th the team visited Tata Institute of Social Sciences, the first Social Work School in India. The students could interact with Dr. S. Parasuraman, Director of Tata Institute of Social Sciences. It was another great opportunity for the students that they could interact with Dr. Vimla Nadkarni,
President, International Association of Schools of Social Work, IASSW as well as Professor and Founder Dean, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences. The students could interact with Dr. Sunil Santha, Assistant Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (former chairperson and Asst. Professor, Dept. of Social Work, Amita Viswa Vidyapeetham). The students called on the Library of TISS which is one of the best libraries of Social Work in India. Afternoon, the team visited International Institute of Population Studies, the unique institute in the world which is working exclusively on demography. The students understood the academic activities of IIPS, higher studies scope of Social Work students in the institute, various programmes and softwares used in the institute etc. There was an interaction with Dr. T.V. Sekhar, Associate Professor, Dept. of Population Policies & Programmes, IIPS. The students could visit the Library and Data Centre of the institute.
The last day the team visited Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospitaland Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College, one of the best hospitals in Mumbai, generally known as Sion hospital and administered by the Mumbai Municipal Corporation. There is a separate dept. for Social Work in that hospital and Social Workers are being recognized there. The students could develop and overall picture about medical social work and the relevance of it. After Sion hospital, the team rushed to BJ children’s home at Matunga where ‘children in need of care and protection’ and ‘children in conflict with law’ are being sent. After the visit, the team went to see the historically important places in Mumbai such as Gateway of India, Taj Hotel etc. The students were allowed for a shopping at CST railway station. The next day (9/12/12), the team left Mumbai. The tour could provide really enlightening experiences to students. They understood the real scope of social work in our country. Many students were given job offers and internships opportunities. Everyday night, the entire team assembled in the Ashram and evaluated the day. Many days the evaluation continued for hours and all the students shared many insightful observations and tried to relate the observations with various Social Work Theories. These evaluation and reflection sessions really helped students to understand the challenges in front of them to be potential social workers of the country.
Report by : Tour Team