Mangaluru: The School of Social Work, Roshni Nilaya kicked off “SPANDANA”, an International Social Work Conference on the theme “Global Strategies for a Resilient and Dynamic Post Pandemic Community”. The event was inaugurated by Mr Ashok H, Former District Nodal Officer for COVID 19 in Dakshin Kannada who has been instrumental in managing and arresting the spread of COVID 19 in Dakshin Kannada at 10.00 am today.
Dr H Ashok who succinctly took the attendees through the genesis and spread of COVID 19 in the World and in India, highlighted the unique challenges that Dakshin Kananda faced, being the hub for students travelling from all over the world and how the region was at special risk of rapid infection.
He highlighted the importance of adaptive and immediate responses to various situations, the importance of deep analysis to identify patterns and the absolute importance of collaboration among various institutions and organizations in dealing with any emergency situation. He rejected the idea of replication of interventions and stressed finding unique solutions to every problem.
This was illustrated by the customized interventions designed for Dakshin Kannada in the face of the pandemic. He encouraged the attendees to stay safe while also investing in educating others so that we come out of this situation safely and healthy. He lauded the services of the School of Social Work Roshni Nilaya, for joining hands with the district administration during the pandemic.
Dr Juliet C J, Principal of the college presided over the programme. In her presidential address, she stressed on the need for training the budding social work professionals to facilitate a resilient and interdependent post-pandemic community.
The first session was conducted by Mr Cheeman Mendonca, Regional HR Director, Molnlycke Health Care who interacted with the audience all the way from Singapore. Mr Mendonca brought with him invaluable inputs on how HR managers and companies responded to the rapid changes that COVID brought.
He began by saying that Change is constant, but the response to change is what separates the winners from the crowd. He examined in great detail, the changes brought by the pandemic in the way we live our lives, interact with others or the way we do our work. He stressed that one must be flexible, adaptive and innovative if one must cope effectively and ride over the difficulties of the pandemic. Mr Cheeman highlighted the key interventions that companies undertook to motivate their employees thus increasing productivity and reducing attrition.
A constant theme throughout his talk was on making the organization and its policies people or employee-centric which is the only sure shot way to ensure profitability in these difficult times. Mr Mendonca’s talk was very well received by the attendees proven by a long Q&A session which he handled with immense grace.
Dr Varalakshmi Chandrasekaran, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Community Medicine, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal spoke on Future of Public Health – A Global post-pandemic perspective. In her address, she felt the need for building community resilience to face the present and future challenges and role of social workers in the same. She also highlighted mental health issues and approaches to cope with such situations in future too.
Dr Margaret Lavina Fernandes, Research Scientist, St. Johns Research Institute, Bangalore spoke on Learning from the pandemic – Global Challenges for Social Work profession with Special Reference to impact on children with hearing impairment. In her address, she emphasized the need for restructuring social work practice.
The Valedictory session of the conference was held at 4:30 pm. Mr Dharmaprasad Rai, Head Essilor Vision Foundation Bangalore was the chief guest and presided over by Dr Jenis P. Mary, Vice-principal, School of Social Work, Roshni Nilaya.
Dr Meena Monteiro, Dean Research welcomed the gathering and the Organising Secretary, Prof. Shalini Prabhu introduced the theme of the International Conference.
Former Principal Dr Jacintha D Souza, Vice Principal Dr Jenis Mary, HOD Ms Eveleen Bennis and student convener Ms Priyanka KVS were present during the occasion.
Pix by: Stanley Bantwal