Birubala Rabh, Swati Paradkar receive USTM Social Work Excellence Award


GUWAHATI:  With the theme of “promoting the importance of human relationship,” the University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya (USTM) organised a two-day National Convention on 18th and 19th March where this year’s Social Work Excellence Award was conferred to Birubala Rabha, social activist from Assam and Swati Paradkar, president of Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad, Mumbai.

Prof. Kalpana Sarathy, Acting Deputy Director in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati received Dr Udaya Mahadevan Academic Excellence Award conferred on the same event at USTM on Tuesday, according to a Press release.

Expressing happiness on receiving the award, Birubala Rabha, the crusader against witchcraft and witch-hunting said, “Witchcraft and witch-hunting is a very superstitious belief which exists even in today’s world. For decades, I have been doing awareness campaigns. I call upon everyone to join my mission to erase this social evil completely.”

Rabha was instrumental in the passing of the Prevention of and Protection from Witch Hunting Act, 2015 by the Assam Government. The active role played by Birubala Rabha in eradication of witch-hunting is an inspiration for many who wish to bring a positive changes in the society.

Receiving the award, Swati Paradkar said, “This is a big honour for me as well as the 45,000 women across India who are active part of our organization”.  Swatiben is a self-made woman, an effective administrator, an entrepreneur par excellence and a torch bearer of the Gandhian concept of Sarvodaya.

She joined as papad rolling sister member at a very tender age to mitigate the family financial crisis, at Wadala Branch in 1971, four years after the institution was formerly registered.

USTM Social Work Department also instituted Dr Udaya Mahadevan Academic Excellence Award—after the renowned academician in Social Work who died on last Saturday (16 March 2019) and the Award was conferred upon Prof. Kalpana Sarathy from TISS who is specialised in the field of health social work, mental health and gender & social work. Prof. Sarathy’s experience in academics and research holds tremendous involvement in Social Work Education.

During the two days of the Convention, different sessions were taken by Prof J. Henry Rozario, Director and Principal Consultant of Exodus Research and Development Pvt. Ltd., Prof. Victor Paul, HOD, Dept of Social Work, Christ University, Prof. Sanjay Bhatt, Dept of Social Work, President NAPSWI. Some of the sessions include: “Employability Skill Development of Youth”, “Human Relationship for humanitarian work”, “Strategies of Youth Development”.

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