| Corporate thinking
to run a non-profitable charity organisation - that is the uniqueness
of this trust, formed by a group of former Chairmen and Managing Directors.
This trust is attempting to create collective social consciousness
among the public by networking existing NGOs, instead of creating
a new one. With the trustees background in business, they plan to
implement business skills like optimising output, money management
and public management. The trust has three focus areas on its agenda;
national awards for women social workers, finding corporate sponsorship
Manava Seva Dharma Samvardhini gives national awards annually
to women who are engaged in social work. This award - the Gnanananda
National award is given to create awareness among the public
and provide a platform for people to interact with these individual
who are "isolated acts of excellence". With this,
they hope to create a ripple effect and in turn strengthen the organisation
in terms of resources and manpower.
The trust also has an interesting idea in corporate sponsorship of
social workers. The trust feels the social worker who is passionate
about his work is hindered by economic pressures of his or her family.
This they feel, can be solved by a symbiotic relationship with large
corporate companies who can sponsor a few of these social workers.
In other words, add them to their payrolls and then allow them to
carry out social work of their interest.
third agenda is to offer a relevant course in social work for those
interested in pursuing social work as a career. The institute, named
Centre for Social Initiative and Management (CSIM), started
by the trust, will offer a one-year diploma in social work. This course
promises to provide help in starting micro enterprises after coursework.
The uniqueness of the course is that the students will be taught by
social workers who have hands-on experience and will have half the
duration of study as practical work outside the classroom.
P N Devarajan, one of the trustees, a chemical engineer from
IIT Kharagpur, has worked as Group President of Reliance
Industries and CMD of Hindustan Organics Limited among
his several past assignments. He was instrumental in the forming of
Manava Seva Dharma Samvardhini and is actively involved in its running.
Author : Leslee Lazar