Essentials in Professional Social Work


The Department of Social Work, Amritapuri campus organized a one day workshop – “Essentials in Professional Social Work” for the first year MSW Students on 26th July 2013. The workshop agenda was planned for a full day training starting from 9.30 am onwards. The programme was officially inaugurated by Mr.Rajeev.M.M (Vice Chairperson, Department of Social Work followed by his inaugural address. He addressed the new batch and mentioned the aims and objectives of the workshop. He officially welcomed all the first years to the Department of Social Work and handed over the programme to Dr.Renjith.R.Pillai. Initially a questionnaire related to Essentials in professional social work was given to the students followed by an activity named Balloon Game which highlighted the aims and objectives of social work profession. After that the students were grouped into different groups and tasks like free listing and trust game was conducted to emphasise the importance of team work.


During the next session, Students were made to perform Role plays in different communicative styles (aggressive, assertive and passive) in order to highlight the importance of the effective communication. They were also made to participate in a small group discussion and presentation which included a case vignette to understand healthy study habits.


Afternoon sessions highlighted the significance of effective time management and social responsibilities. Games and discussions were conducted to introduce the concept of empathy, effective stress management and grasp the relevance of social support in stressful situation. The workshop was concluded by Mr.V.S.Kochu Krishna Kurup with the basics of Yoga practice and its importance in life. The programme got winded up by 3 pm hoping to bring in a big change in upcoming professionals.


A day for Writing Report

Communicating to Communities, the  two day PLA workshop concluded successfully   on 27th April 2013. The camp was held in the island Perumpalam. It was a delightful experience to the students; the  two days in the Island. The Island had lots of myths and legends and it is also known as the land of temples and sacred groves. Now also they preserve the sacred land, backwater and they conserve a religious harmony. Students applied the PLA tools which they learned in the class rooms, in the community with passion.

For the application of the PLA tools, the co-coordinators of the camp divided the whole group of students into 9 groups and assigned 9 areas to those groups. Each group had certain topics to collect from the community such as transportation history, culture of the community, health, disasters, threatening problems etc.The whole work of the students on (25.4.2013) was documented on (27.4.2013). All the students gathered in a hall in the campus.  Based on the details collected, the coordinators again assigned separate topics for each group for documentation.The procedure of documentation started at 9 am. The ‘Introduction’ was assigned to Bibin and Prasanth.  Anitha & team dealt the general history and profile of Perumpalam Island. Demography, Gender Analysis and Economy of Perumpalam was done by Lakshmi & team. Perumplalam Island has a bunch of fairy tales legends. Joby& team completed the topics such as Culture, Believes, Religion and history of Politics. Parvathy and team dealt with community health problems, practices, traditional medicines etc. Perumpalam Island is prone to disasters. The topic Disaster, History of transportation, Infrastructure and Media were documented by Supriya and team.  The Island possesses a variety of fish biodiversity. All the resource details and the agriculture of the community were documented by Arya and team. Education and Institutions of the Perumpalam Island was dealt by the team of Jessica. Water pollution is one of the threatening problems amongst them. A variety of reasons exists there causing pollution and climatic changes. These were also documented by Jasmine and team. And the last topic the Governance, Waste management and Biodiversity of the Island were done by Sandhya and team.To meet the deadline, the coordinators recalled the group coordinators in every 2 hours so as to assess the progress of work. Each group did their work very sincerely with a team spirit and because of that the documentation was completed within the deadline at 3.30pm.

Report by: Rashmi Ramesh102_4179 102_4180 102_4182 102_4184 102_4185 102_4187 102_4188 102_4189 102_4190 102_4191 102_4192 102_4194  102_4197

Edited by: Parvathy V

Photos: Vishnuraj

PLA Workshop Concludes

The department of Social Work, Amritapuri campus organized a one week workshop on “Communicating to Communities”. Workshop has begun on 22nd and is to end on 27t399809_4344242378882_1155190759_nh April 2013. The workshop has covered participatory learning and action and folk media for development communication. The aim of the workshop is to impart skill development training to MSW students. The first day of the workshop was related with “folk media” for development communication. The workshop was conducted by Mr Presanth & Mr Gireesh. They shared a lot of ideas about folksongs. It was very meaningful & informative class for the students of MSW department. Folk songs were mainly considered as the history of the society. The resource person said that folk songs represent the traditions and customs followed in earlier days .He shared a lot of experiences that he had in the field of folk songs. Mostly folk songs are ignored in the present days .Each folk song communicates some messages to the people. It explains the history of the community.

The next section was inauguration function which began with prayer. Jasmine R Pereira delivered the welcome speech. Mr.Ranjith.K (lecturer/ workshop coordinator) gave programme details. He told that the workshop was concerned to teach students to analyze how the popular culture was destroyed. After that Dr. Gopinathan Pillai, (Principal of Amrita School of Arts and Science) inaugurated the function by lighting the lamp. He shared a lot of information about lecturing and said that it is a disastrous form of communication when it becomes a monologue. After102_4135 the inaugural address Mr Prasanth, the resource person of the day delivered the key note address. Dr Renjith R Pillai (Chairperson of Department of Social Work) gave the felicitations and discussed about the application of theory in field. He also said that the outcome of workshop should be integrated into an informative document for the community. Mr Gireesh explained the possible resources for mobilizing people in the community. Mr Rajeev (Vice Chairperson) coined a term FPF (Field practical Festival) for the camp. Mr VS Kochu Krishna Kurup mentioned about the importance of communication while dealing with community and he also discussed about the different tools of a PLA. After the felicitation, Ms Anitha, the student coordinator of workshop gave vote of thanks.

As the session started, students were asked to self introduce themselves. The session came to an end with the vote of thanks delivered by student coordinator Praveen.

The 2nd day of workshop was related with the street play. The programme was handled by Mr Johnson & Mr Aneesh Thankappan {resource person}. Mr Johnson told about stages in drama, explained the brief history of drama, 3stages in drama & its characteristics. He said about the importance of written script in street play. The main aim of the street play was to bring the realities of societies to the community and to make a face to face debate with society. They introduced lot of games for giving training to students .The day was meaningful for the students.

The next day, students went to Perumbalam, a small island in Alleppy district on 24 April 2013 for the PLA CAMP. The students of MSW dept reached there by 1 pm and386884_513874992006774_560190644_n venue for the workshop was arranged at Govt LP school Perumpalam south. Mr Ranjith k, the faculty coordinator made discussions with students. At the same time he divided the students into 9 groups & each group had a leader for coordinating all the activities of group. The tools of PLA were subdivided to each group. After all the discussions, the inaugural ceremony of PLA started. Praveen, the student coordinator of the workshop delivered the welcome speech and Mr Renjith k  the faculty , coordinator of workshop gave  a brief description about the camp and mentioned  about the importance of PLA tools in the community. Workshop was inaugurated by Mr Vellayudhan (vice president of Panchayat). Dr Renjith R Pillai, chairperson dept. of social work delivered the presidential address. Mr Surendharan (ward member), Mrs Veena Suresh and Mr Nisanth, felicitated the event. Ms Anitha, the student coordinator gave the vote of thanks. After that section Mr Renjith k taught the students about the different tools of PLA. He assigned the works to students and they were sent to 9 spots for doing their PLA workshop. After that they shared the different experiences that they got in the particular field visits and it was very informative and meaningful for the whole team because the observations of each student revealed a lot of valuable knowledge about the Perumbalam island. Valedictory function was on 26th April 2013. Dr Renjith R Pillai spoke about the 7 da923084_513874612006812_112596883_nys PLA workshop activities and he also shared a lot experiences about the PLA camp. Mr Ranjith, shared his experiences about the PLA workshop and Ms Veena Suresh & Mr Nisanth (faculties of dept. of social work) also shared their memories in the PLA camp. The feedback section came to an end with the different comments of social work students. It was very interesting & informative experience for all. The students’ reached back on 26th evening.

There was a report writing camp on 27th at A-005 hall in the campus. The students were divided into teams and separate duties were assigned. By evening 4 O’ clock the students finished drafting the report.

Report By: Midhun & Silpa


Edited by: Parvathy

“Communicating to Communities”: Day 2 (23/4/2013)

The second day of the workshop started with the recap of the last days’ programme by Aswathy Ashok. After that, the other students also shared their insights on the last day’s session. The session of the day was basically on Street play. Mr. Johnson and Aneesh Thankappan were the resource persons of the day. Both of them are experienced hands in the area of street play and other theatre skills.


Mr. Johnson told about the three stages in drama. These three stages differ in its characteristics. The first stage and second stage attract people to the theatres whereas the third stage brings theatre to the people. It addresses the issue of common man. In street play, written script is essential. The street play aims to bring the realities of the society and to make a face to face debate with the people. . The script in a street play is derived out of the team work of the group. He also mentioned about the need of becoming politically committed. The actor who performs in street play should have an attitude of a third person in the public. Emotions should be balanced in street play. We should communicate the idea and realities more than the emotional aspects in the play. street play aims to bring the realities of the society and to make a face to face debate with the people. The script in a street play is derived out of the team work of the group. He also mentioned about the need of becoming politically committed. The actor who performs in street play should have an attitude of a third person in the public. Emotions should be balanced in street play. We should communicate the idea and realities more than the emotional aspects in the play.

Mr. Aneesh Thankappan gave training in the street play.

102_4024 He used several games to give training to the students. Games which used in the session are power passing, single mirror, statue making, structure creation, sound rhythm movement etc. He said that street play is a medium to express one’s opposition to an issue.

Students were divided into four groups and asked to take up any issue and create a sculpture out of it. Another game played is namely sound rhythm movement. This involved production of a sound with the support of rhythm and movement. Then the same game is used to manage the space.  Session had a break at 12 ‘o clock for lunch.

At 1 pm the next session began with mime. Here a group of people communicates the ideas with the support of gestures and their body language. The first group performed about the issue, water scarcity in the context of   the commercialization of a river Chiyago in North India. The second group addressed the Koodamkulam issue. Here the students showed the livelihood of that region and how the issue affected the place. The third group presented the Delhi gang rape. The last group performed the issue of farmer’s suicide. Different techniques like space management and rhythm/sound balancing etc are used in the presentation. The students actively participated in this session.


The last session of  programme was script writing. For this, 2 groups were formed and were asked to write a script on any issue and perform it. First group selected violence against woman. Their script was based on a family situation. It communicated the issues faced by a mother and her girl child. Second group was presenting the realities of media. They took some channel programmes and showed its real and hidden face. Programme ended by 4.40pm with vote of thanks.


Report by: Silpa

Edited by: Parvathy

Photos By: Bibin

‘Communicating To Communities’ Workshop: Folk media for Development Communication

Department of Social Work, Amritapuri Campus organized a one week workshop on “Communicating to Communities”. The workshop that has begun on 22nd  extends till 27th of April 2013. This workshop covers Participatory Learning and Action and Folk media for development communication. The aim of this workshop is to impart skill development training to MSW students.

On 22nd April 2013, the workshop started at 9.30 am. Mr. Prasanth and Mr. Girish were the two resource persons who dealt with the first session, “Folk Media for Development Communication”. Mr. Prasanth, is the representative from the group ‘Navour:Folk songs and plays’, Kanjoor Nattupolika, Ernakulam. The group is concerned with the promotion of folklore.  He has been wor102_3920king in this group since last 10 years. He spoke about the importance of folk songs. He mentioned that these songs are not written songs but are transferred by mouth and it depicts the history of the society. A song gets into the category of folk songs after hundreds of years of its origin. These songs are the findings from the past. It represents the traditions, customs, rituals and the culture that we followed in early days. It also explains about our life style in the past. Like folk songs, proverbs are also a part of folklore. He made comments on Kalabhavan Mani’s (famous actor/singer) folk songs. The songs composed by Mani cannot be considered as real folk songs as it is written by someone for the purpose and thus not a part of tradition. He said that the folk songs are losing its importance today. Now a day no one knows much about the traditional folk arts. Kadhakali stands more prominent in Kerala than other folk art forms. The common man cannot understand the theme which kadhakali communicates. He said that around 400 varieties of Theyyam exist in Northern Kerala. Theyyam has its own power and importance in that region because of its association with religion. Theyyam is not only a religious art but also represents a region or community. Folklore also gets importance from westerners who are att102_3906racted towards exploring traditional arts.

He explained the various regional folk arts of Kerala. In Northern Kerala ‘Thottam’, is performed before starting ‘Theyyam’. In Ernakulam, Pulaya community has its traditional custo102_3916ms and in Trissur, Paraya community performs ‘Vaatamudi theyyam’. In southern parts of Kerala this is known as 18 ‘adhikal’.  Folk song is used for representing different activities.  It is used to reduce workload, to preserve our culture, tradition, custom related to agriculture and our daily life routine. People use this for recreation also. Each song communicates some messages to the people.

The activities of the day

The inaugural function started at 10.25 am. The function began with the prayer. Miss. Jasmin R Perera deliverd the welcome speech and Mr. Ranjith K, (Lecturer/ Workshop Coordinator) gave the programme guidelines. He told that this workshop helps to analyze how the 102_3925popular culture is neglected in the society. He added that our visual sensibility is corrupted. He made a brief explanation of the coming days programmes. He said that we need to identify local sources to mobilize community. Dr. Gopinathan Pillai, (Principal Amrita School of Arts and Science) inaugurated the function by lighting the lamp. In the inaugural address, Principal said that lecturing is the most disastrous form of communication when it becomes monologue alone. He added that the folklore culture should be explored especially by social workers who are involved closely with people. After the inaugural address, Mr. Prasanth, Resource person delivered the key note address. Dr. Renjith R Pillai, (Chairperson of Dpt. of Social Work) felicitated the even102_3926t by saying that we should know the application of theory in the field . He also mentioned that the output of the workshop should be integrated to develop an informative document of that community. Mr. Girish said that we have to identify the best possible resources to mobilize the community. Mr.Rajeev M M, (Vice Chair person, Dpt. of Social Work) named the activities in the workshop as “Field Practical Festival” i.e. FPF. Mr. V.S.Kochukrishna Kurup said in his felicitation that communication is very important in the community and as a professional social worker we should be careful with what tool we use to communicate and to whom we are going to communicate. Miss. Anitha one of the student coordinators delivered the vote of thanks.

After the inaugural session students introduced themselves. Mr. Prasanth listed out certain traditional instruments commonly used in 102_3910folklore like Maram ( an instrument used by the Paraya community). It varies from community to community. The session came to an end at 3 pm. Praveen, one of the student coordinators of the workshop delivered the vote of thanks. Mr. Ranjith K and Ms. Veena Suresh presented memento to Mr. Prasanth and Mr. Girish as a token of love.

After this session Mr. Kochu Krishna Kurup discussed three more tools used in PLA (Participatory Learning and Action) namely Venn Diagrams, Mobility map and Wealth Map. Venn diagram was understood through a small activity where students divided into 6 groups and tried to make a Venn diagram of their community.

Report by: Shilpa VR

Edited by: Parvathy V

Photos by: Bibin S Babu


Workshop on biodiversity and social sciences – a new attitude for a new ideal world

Amrita University, Amritapuri campus has organized a one day workshop on “Biodiversity and Social sciences” on 22/3/2013. It had two sessions which started with inaugural session and was followed by programme session. Inaugural session started on 10.30 am and the gathering was welcomed by Dr Renjith R Pillai (HOD/Chairperson of social work department, Amrita University). After the ceremony of lighting the lamp, Dr Gopinathan Pillai (Principal of Amrita School of Arts and Science) gave the inaugural address. In the inaugural speech, he spoke about the term biodiversity and its importance in modern world.576027_436994049716161_1741177702_nHe also mentioned the problems associated with destruction of biodiversity in nature through some examples. He marked it by the terms of ecological meltdown, thoughtlessness of man and so on.versity in nature through some examples. He marked it by the terms of ecological meltdown, thoughtlessness of man and so on. The inaugural address wound up with the thought on the need to reframe the environmental ethics and philosophy.  Ms. Devayani Khare (Project manager, Westernghats) and Mr MM Rajeev (Vice chairperson of Dpt of Social Work, Amrita University) delivered felicitation to the meeting.

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After the tea break, the workshop continued with introduction to biodiversity by Ms Devayani khare.  She presented as well as interacted with the audience. The presentation covered society and biodiversity, role of social science in biodiversity, social success stories in the environment movements and social problems in Westernghats. The interactive session dispersed for lunch at 1.00 pm. The second session was the afternoon session which started with field visit to Thurailkadav, (a place nearby Amritapuri campus, Amrita University, Kollam) for capturing photos to upload in biodiversity portal.

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Indeed the biodiversity portal is a site like Wikipedia; it can be accessed by anyone and upload photos of various species in biodiversity.  Throughout the field visit, social work students took snapshots of natural elements in biodiversity. The field visit showed the unity and enthusiasm of upcoming professional social workers and after that the field visit, the project manager Ms Devayani showed a model on how to upload photos in biodiversity portal. This, perhaps, is a great asset to the professional make over for every social work trainee. The one day workshop concluded with the valedictory function, wherein Mr. Kochukrishana Kurup (faculty, Dpt of Social Work, Amrita University) handed over a token of gratitude on behalf of social work department to Ms. Devayani khare. Certificates were distributed to the participants. The one day workshop concluded officially by the vote of thanks by programme coordinator Mr. Deepak Suresh(student, S4MSW).

Report by: Prasanth.P &  Arun Ram 


Photos: Arathy Aravind 

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Skill Development Training at Govt. Childrens Home, Kollam

A skill development training programme has been organized by the 1st Semester MSW students of Amrita Vishwavidya Peetham for the inmates of  govt. Childrens’ home on 24th November,2012, Kollam.  The eminent skill development trainer and a social worker Mr Jerry Camoens lead the programme.

The program started by 10.30 AM with the inaugural session. Mr.  Mr Jerry Camoens, Mr. Ranjith Kavumkara (Lecturer),Mr. Nishant M (Field Work Co-ordinator), Mr Shahir (caretaker , childrens home), Mr. Anas, Mr. Midhun, Ms. Supriya, Ms. Athira,  etc. (S1 MSW students)  were present in the function. Continue reading