Historical Evolution of Social Group Work (Indian Context)

Historical Evolution of Social Group Work (Indian Context)

Social group work is a method of social work practice that uses the power of group interaction to help people achieve their personal and social goals. It is based on the belief that people can learn and grow from each other and that groups can provide support and empowerment to their members.

Social group work in India

Social group work was introduced to India in the early 1900s, but it did not gain widespread acceptance until after independence in 1947. In the early years, social group work was primarily used in urban areas to provide services to children, youth, and women. However, as the country developed and social needs became more complex, social group work began to be used in a wider range of settings, including rural areas, hospitals, and schools.

Early influences

The development of social group work in India was influenced by a number of factors, including the Indian independence movement, the Sarvodaya movement, and the Bhoodan movement. The Indian independence movement emphasized the importance of self-reliance and community cooperation, and these values were reflected in the early social group work practices. The Sarvodaya movement, which was founded by Mahatma Gandhi, emphasized the importance of social justice and the upliftment of the poor and marginalized. The Bhoodan movement, which was founded by Vinoba Bhave, was a land reform movement that sought to redistribute land from the wealthy to the landless. These movements all influenced the development of social group work in India by emphasizing the importance of community participation and empowerment.

Professionalization of social group work

The professionalization of social group work in India began in the 1930s with the establishment of the first schools of social work. These schools introduced social group work as a formal method of social work practice. In the 1940s and 1950s, a number of national and regional social work organizations were established, and these organizations played a key role in promoting the development of social group work in India.

Growth of social group work

Social group work grew rapidly in India in the 1960s and 1970s. This growth was due to a number of factors, including the expansion of social welfare programs, the increasing demand for social services, and the growing recognition of the effectiveness of social group work in addressing social problems. Social group work was used in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, community centers, and correctional institutions.

Contemporary social group work in India

Today, social group work is a well-established method of social work practice in India. It is used in a wide range of settings, including schools, hospitals, community centers, correctional institutions, and non-governmental organizations. Social group work is used to address a variety of social problems, including poverty, illiteracy, health problems, and social injustice.

Challenges and opportunities

Social group work in India faces a number of challenges, including the lack of trained social workers, the shortage of resources, and the social and cultural barriers faced by marginalized groups. However, social group work also presents a number of opportunities to address the social problems facing India today. Social group work can be used to empower marginalized groups, promote social justice, and build strong communities.

Some notable social group work initiatives in India

  • Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA): SEWA is a trade union that organizes women working in the informal sector. SEWA uses social group work to help women develop their skills, improve their working conditions, and access government programs.
  • Snehalaya Snehalaya is a non-governmental organization that provides rehabilitation services to street children. Snehalaya uses social group work to help street children develop their social skills, build self-esteem, and reintegrate into society.
  • The Hunger Project: The Hunger Project is a non-governmental organization that works to eradicate hunger in India. The Hunger Project uses social group work to empower women and communities to take control of their own development.

Conclusion

Social group work has played an important role in the social development of India. It has been used to address a variety of social problems, including poverty, illiteracy, health problems, and social injustice. Social group work is a valuable tool for empowering individuals and communities to achieve their social goals.

References

  • Konopka, G. (1972). Group work practice: the creative process Prentice-Hall.
  • Garvin, C. D. (1997) Social work education and training for group work practice: A historical perspective. Social Work Education, 16(4), 421-430.

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