The organisation has proposed study of Chanakya Niti, Shukra Niti and Vidur Niti as part of social policy paper and chapters on Nyaya Shastra and Natyashastra as part of development communication.
Introduce lessons from ancient Indian texts Natyashastra, Nyaya Shastra, Vidurniti in social work courses in universities, get students and teachers to learn about the Hindu philosophy of Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah (May all become happy), celebrate Sangh ideologue and social activist Nanaji Deshmukh’s birthday as Social Work Day. These are part of the 11-point action plan that RSS-affiliate Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal has proposed to the HRD ministry.
The proposal was prepared after consulting 40 professors at a meeting in Wardha, organised by the BSM last weekend, as part of its project, “Bharatiyakaran” of social work courses. While it took a while before the professors agreed on Nanaji Deshmukh’s name, the suggestions which have been agreed upon by the academics include introducing chapters on Narayan Guru against caste discrimination, langars as model of food security, social life and urban planning in Indus Valley civilization and Maurya Age, the ancient Indian concept of Sarve Bhantu Sukhinah and labour reforms of of Jyotiba Phule as part of existing social work courses in Indian universities.
These changes are likely to be introduced in the first and second year study of the post-graduate courses. The organisation has proposed study of Chanakya Niti, Shukra Niti and Vidur Niti as part of social policy paper and chapters on Nyaya Shastra and Natyashastra as part of development communication.
Apart from Deshmukh, the names proposed by professors who need to honoured as part of social work day included Sugata Dasgupta , a professor who worked to popularise Indian philosophy in social work and GR Banerjee a researcher who has documented about social welfare in ancient India and has also documented social reformers such as Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar.
“All present resolved to observe the October 11, the birthday of Nanaji Deshmukh, as Indian Social Work Day. A letter has been sent to Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) Prakash Javedkar to formally make the announcement,” a senior leader of the Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal told sources.
The two-day consultation that took place in Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University, Wardha saw the acdemi apart from members of the RSS, included academicians from University of Delhi, Mizoram University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, Central University of Rajasthan, Punjabi University, Nagpur University, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, University of Mysore, Central University of Kerala, Bharathidasan University, Tamil Nadu, Assam University among others.
Bishnu Mohan Dash, former head, Department of Social Work, B. R. Ambedkar College, University of Delhi, coconvenor of the workshop said that the consensus on Nanaji Deshmukh as the social reformer to be honoured as part of Indian social work day was taken considering “his pioneering work towards anti-poverty, rural health, rural education, cottage industry, and tribal population (Vanvasi) in Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh.
“There is a serious concern that despite over eight decades of social work education, the curriculum of social work courses in Indian universities is primarily Euro – American centric and completely ignores Indian and indigenous approaches of social service and social reform movements. After much brainstorming, there is an agreement that we need to include Indigenous theories, models and experiences as part of social work curriculum,” another member of the organisation said.
The documented proposal also said the courses must “encourage their students to write at least two research papers every year that should present the student’s understanding of indigenous perspective.”
“Cataloguing of books with Indian perspective, making the students aware about Indian experiences and theories even in present Euro-American centric curriculum, popularising Indian terminology for social work, documentation of uncrowned Indian local heroes, and associate with Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal for Bharatiyakaran of Social Work Curriculum,” have been described as steps universities need to take to promote Indian contribution to social work.