Gandhian Social Work Practice

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Gandhian Approach to Social Work


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Gandhian Social Work Practice:

Gandhian Social Work Practice Minu M Kumar School of Gandhian Thought and Development Studies Mahatma Gandhi University Kottayam

Mahatma Gandhi- Father of our Nation:

Mahatma Gandhi- Father of our Nation Gandhian Ideas has indirectly and directly contributed to the development of Social Work as a profession and a discipline in India Even though the professional traits are not fully incorporated to the activities undertook, the efforts have contributed very well to the Social Work Practice.

Gandhian Social Work- A look into…:

Gandhian Social Work- A look into… Constructive programmes proposed by Gandhiji And the Constructive Workers work alike to the Friendly Visitors- the initial social workers. Methods of Social Work can be practiced adapting the Ideas propounded.

Constructive Programmes:

Constructive Programmes The core elements of the constructive programme would be necessary for the transformation & liberation of India Involved programmes to represent equality, liberate education, make a Gram Swaraj .

Given Emphasis to:

Given Emphasis to Sustainable development Human society must not to exploit more of natural resources for development For him using anything extra is a stealing Development of Cottage Industry Main way to develop rural poor “I would make the spinning-wheel, the foundation on which build a sound village life”.

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Antidote to environment problems Voice was to save the mother earth from destruction & generate the fruit of real development Formation of Local Self Govt . Concept of Gram Swaraj - every village should be its own republic, independent. The virtue of “small is beautiful” is always preferred by Gandhi as he visualized the future of India lies in the development of these small villages. There have enough on earth for everybody’s need, but not enough for anybody’s greed

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Universalization of Primary Education Gandhiji regarded education as the light of life & the very source from which was created an awareness of oneness Empowering women Man should learn to give place to women A country or community in which women are not honoured can not be considered as visualized Breaking the bridge between touchable & untouchable Discrimination should not be existing.


CONSTRUCTIVE PROGRAMMES The truthful and non violent way of winning “POORNA SWARAJ” or Complete Independence.

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Communal Unity Removal of Untouchability Prohibition Khadi Other Village Industries Village Sanitation New/Basic Education Adult Education Women Health and Hygiene

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Provincial Language National Language Economic Equality Kisan Labour Adivasis Lepers Students


GANDHIAN IDEAS IN DIFFERENT THOUGHTS Social Thought Political Thought Economic Thought

Social Thought:

Social Thought Significance of Constructive Programmes Constructive Programmes and Social upliftment Wanted to reconstruct Indian Villages The way to Poorna Swaraj Aimed at the multi sided development of a nation Positive aspect of Satyagraha Considered as the positive aspect of Satyagraha

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WHY the Positive aspect? Training ground for the Satyagrahies Help the masses to regain their confidence, self respect and dignity Creates an atmosphere of confidence, hope and fearlessness among the people. Brings about a silent revolution in the values and attitudes of the people.

Views on Untouchability:

Views on Untouchability Means pollution by the touch of certain persons by reason of his birth in a particular state or family. A/c. to Gandhiji , removal of untouchability means love for and service of the whole world. Toured the country to rouse public opinion Weekly Journal “YOUNG INDIA”- called them Harijans - Men of God. Started weekly paper named Harijan to promote the movement against Untouchability Educated them in Sanitation and Hygiene

View on Women:

View on Women Suppression of woman Most degrading evil Equality between the sexes Right to participation- Equal right of freedom and liberty Domestic role of woman Care taker and mistress of the house Bringing up of the children – a special privilege An incarnation of AHIMSA AHIMSA means infinite love, which again means infinite capacity for self suffering Woman show this capacity in larger measures

Contribution for Emancipation:

Contribution for Emancipation Women and Education Family Property Right to Choose husband Opposition against child marriage, dowry system Participation of Indian women in public life

Views on Alcoholism:

Views on Alcoholism A complex social problem through out the world In Gandhian terms, liquor kills not only the body but also the spirit within us. It is a sin against God and Humanity Drains moral sap in man

Gandhian Action Plan to tackle the problem:

Gandhian Action Plan to tackle the problem Prohibition Temperance Role of women Role of Youth and Students Constructive activities Twelve Point Programmes


SARVODAYA Welfare of all Free from all social evils Stateless society Moral development of individual is prime Free and compulsory education

Political Thought:

Political Thought Views on Democracy Must in essence mean the art and science of mobilizing the entire physical, economic and spiritual resources of all the various sections of the people in the service of the common good for all. Can be achieved through grass root level democracy In Gandhian system, village panchayat represents the most important institution of participatory democracy Argued that the true democracy could not be worked by 20 men sitting at the centre .

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It has to be work from below by the people of every village For Gandhiji , decentralization of power is also possible only through grass root level democracy

Views on State:

Views on State Represents violence in its organized and concentrated form State retards growth of individual Wanted to establish a complete non violent state called Ramarajya . Visualizes this goal in three phases Immediate Swaraj - goal was to liberate the country from foreign rule. Predominantly non violent state- goal was to bring about a predominantly non violent state through the evolution of village republics Ramarajya or Divine Raj – Predominently non violent state- complete non violent state

Political Decentralization- Most Important Feature :

Political Decentralization- Most Important Feature Vesting the power of decision making with the sub centres Decision making is essence of administration - important object of Gandhian Political Decentralization Main object for the decentralization of political power is Panchayati Raj

Panchayat Raj:

Panchayat Raj Will function on the basis of Voluntary co-operation of different villages. Model assigns greatest political power to the village community Believed that decentralization of political power is possible only through Panchayat Raj

Economic Thought:

Economic Thought Basic Principles of Gandhian Economics Truth and Non-violence Villagism Decentralized economy Minimization wants and simple living Bread labor Swadeshi Trusteeship

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Basic Principles of Gandhian Economics (Conti…) Economic equality Appropriate Technology Production by masses and not mass production Integration of small and large scale industry Self sufficiency Self reliance

Modern Social Work and Gandhian Social Work :

Modern Social Work and Gandhian Social Work There are a great number of similarities Differences too…


SIMILARITIES Work to help people Training for Social Workers Believe in social justice and distribution of societal resources. Social welfare should start in small groups Approach is secular Believe in purity of means and want to have every achievement with proper process Take individual as a focal point Believe in persuasion and not compulsion

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Believe social work can and should be a full time occupation Three objectives of social work are restoration, provision of resources and prevention of social problem Use social action as a popular method Believes in team work


DIFFERENCES Professional Social work - social welfare work as a career, Gandhian workers - don't have a professional attitude. They believe in sacrifice and self denial Professional Social work – client and worker relationship is professional Gandhian workers – like a family member of the clients Gandhian Social worker- finds spiritual satisfaction in helping others. Do social service as moral duty Professional Social Worker- obligation for better and just social system

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GSWr - activities introduced are not so innovative – work for cottage industries, environment preservation activities and prohibition PSWr – organize all sorts of programmes PSWr – are more scientific and systematic. GSWr - already fixed priorities in social service area PSWr – not working for classless society GSWr – Bellieve equality in payment PSWr – not against consumerism and better standard of living GSWr – work for a simple life with basic needs fulfiiled

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PSWr – not against private ownership of the property and source of production GSWr – favor cooperative ownership and trusteeship of all the means of production GSWr - interested in poor, downtrodden and ignorant rural masses or under privileged PSWr – Accepts everyone as a client PSWr – not against industrialization, urbanization and westernization- it is a product of complex urbanized and industrialized society. GSWr – takes urbanization and industrialization as a disease

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