June 18, 2010
Department of Social Work, Coimbatore
Meet Suja. Employed at Larsen & Toubro (L&T), the multi-national conglomerate that is known for its mega engineering and construction projects, Suja is an Amrita graduate.
She graduated with a Masters in Social Work from Amrita’s Coimbatore campus last year.
What is a social worker doing at a multi-national company?
“I work for the overall development of our neighboring village,” Suja says. Employed at L&T’s manufacturing campus on the outskirts of Coimbatore, Suja works for the adjoining village of Malumichampatti.
“We undertake social development projects. We provided an RO drinking water plant. In addition, for the village school, we constructed a compound wall and a toilet block.”
“Our main thrust areas are education, health and environment.”
Suja has also helped conduct medical camps including eye camps and dental health camps for villagers. As part of the Employee Volunteering Initiative, she has participated in blood donation drives and tree plantation efforts.
“I have to also make project proposals to our management to seek their approval for new development projects. Some of my time is spent in administrative tasks too.”
Suja’s ex-classmates from the Amrita Department of Social Work are all similarly busy. Several work at NGOs around the country. But several others, like Suja, work with employers as diverse as the UAE Exchange in Abu Dhabi, the Kerala State SC/ST Commission or even at training-oriented, people and organization development institutions.
“Several of our graduates are also working with the humanitarian projects of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math,” states Mr. N. Nagalingam, Assistant Professor in the Department. “Last year, for instance, the new Amrita hospital in Andaman and Nicobar islands employed some of our graduates.”
“Our graduates are also placed in NGOs working with the National Rural Health Mission.”
Friends of Tribals Society, a national-level NGO working for the upliftment of tribals and other deprived people in rural India, recruited Amrita graduates last year and returned again this year to recruit more graduates from Amrita.
“100% of our graduating students are already placed this year.”
They, like Suja, will perhaps soon reminisce about their college days. “Life at Amrita was wonderful,” Suja says. “I enjoyed campus life, both with friends in the hostel and in the classroom, learning theory. We had a very good practical exposure also.”
“Our program prepares students to work as social workers, counselors, health workers, HR-personnel, project officers, program coordinators, community organizers in the fields of health, sanitation, economics, education, HRM, sustainable development and juvenile justice,” eloquently sums up Mr. Nagalingam.