Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Shobhana Ranade gets important Indian award for practical social work

Not everyone who makes a major contribution to social work is a qualified, accredited or registered professional of the current era, but have continued making an immense contribution across the decades. One such, Shobhana Ranade, has just been honoured (again, because she is a well-known and well-regarded citizen) with a significant award, the Padma Bhushan, by the government of India. Even while we develop social work as a profession, we should still be recognising as the highest quality of social work what people have done in practical everyday contributions to their community. The contribution and commitment of people who get stuck in to the very real problems in their communities, using the resources in their community, and contributing to education and personal development of individuals and social development by doing it: that's social work, and we should value it when we see it.

People such as Shobhana would be the first to value professional development and education for people working with others in social work. We should never denigrate the value of their contribution because they never had the chance to qualify in a profession that is growing at different paces across the world.

Inspired as a child by Gandhi, her particular focus has been destitute women and children; in her career, she has started a school, a child welfare centre and working for women's empowerment. 

She helped in starting the Gandhi National Memorial Society and a national training institute for women at the Aga Khan Palace in Pune in 1979. She also received the National Award for Child Welfare Service from President Giani Zail Singh in 1983.

Reports of the Awaard from the Daily News and Analysis, India:

and Mid-day Pune:

A more extended biography and interview, but from 1999 at The Indian Express:

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