Govt should realise importance of social work profession
Even when the State Government and the society is expecting social work colleges, students and members of various non-government social organisations are expected to provide services during the lockdown due to Covid 19 pandemic, they are not paid salaries in time.
The staff has not been paid salaries for the last three months. Divisional Joint Commissioner of Social Welfare Siddharth Gaikwad, when contacted stated that the State Government has not released the grants. The last instalment of grants was released in the month of March 2021.
Maharashtra has largest number of social work colleges. Only Matru Sewa Sangh Institute of Social Work, Nagpur is under Department of Higher Education. Ramanandteertha University, Nanded has a department of social work, and therefore is under Higher Education Department. Almost 45 more social work colleges in the State have preferred to remain under Social Welfare Department. The teaching and non-teaching staff have been fighting for their rights, earlier for salary as per recommendation of Sixth Wage Commission, now as per Seventh Wage Commission, pension and other retirement benefits etc.
The delay in payment of salaries and other grants is a usual phenomenon for all organisations under Social Welfare Department. Unfortunately the State Government has not realised importance of this department and those working under it. The staff and students of these colleges are always requisitioned by Government agencies for any work. Many of them have worked during the Covid 19 pandemic, with dedication. They have been working to generate awareness among people about Corona virus and preventive measures and vaccination.
The experts in the field have been time and again emphasising to upgrade social work profession. The society is facing several problems which needs intervention of psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers. The new education policy has also laid emphasis on placement of social workers in schools. Importance of special teachers in every school was first mentioned by the Kothari Commission. But the issues have remained unattended.
With increasing social problems, the government at the Centre and States are expected to reframe the policy to offer due attention and credit to the social work profession.