May 24, 2012
Department of Social Work, Amritapuri
The Azim Premji Foundation was established in 2001 by Azim Premji, the Chairman of Wipro Ltd., a leading Indian software company.
In 2012, Forbes magazine ranked Premji as the third wealthiest Indian, with a personal wealth of US $ 15.9 billion. In 2010, Premji had pledged to contribute $2 billion to uplift Indian primary education, and provide assistance especially to schools in rural areas.
The Azim Premji Foundation seeks to ensure quality education for all to help realize its vision of a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society.
Now Gladson M. E., who will soon graduate with an MSW (Master of Social Work) degree from the Amritapuri campus, will have the opportunity to participate in the Foundation’s efforts.
He was placed at the Foundation through campus placement.
Upon graduation, he will relocate to Bengaluru, where he expects to spend his first year with the Foundation at its headquarters, before having an opportunity to choose an area of focus in his second year.
His current interests include climate change, agriculture and rural development. At Amrita, he has had the opportunity to contribute with many projects in these areas, even as a student.
“Every Wednesday and Thursday, we went out into the field, as part of the Community Development track/specialization I had chosen,” Gladson explained.
“During my first semester at Amrita, I worked on a kitchen garden pilot project with 30 families of a local Panchayat. The second semester brought farmers into the project. During the third semester we scaled up to include the entire Panchayat,” he shared.
In his final semester, before obtaining the placement in Azim Premji Foundation, Gladson worked with Mitra Niketan, an NGO located in Thiruvananthapuram, that offers an alternative and holistic model of education primarily to rural children and youth.
Gladson faced tough competition in the placement process. The Foundation wanted to select only the best two students, whereas over 25 applied for the opening. All candidates took a written test, gave a presentation on a relevant topic of their choice, as well as attended a personal interview.
“I am grateful to Dr. Renjith R. Pillai, Academic Coordinator of Social Work Department and to Mr. KPU Menon of CIR for the encouragement they gave me,” Gladson stated.
Gladson was inspired to become a social worker by his father who while teaching as a theologian in a college, also helped a number of people. Before joining Amrita, he graduated from the University of Kerala with degree in botany.