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February 28, 2011
Department of Social Work, Amritapuri & Coimbatore
MSW students from the Amritapuri and Coimbatore campuses came together for a seven-day camp conducted at Neliyampathy during February 5-11, 2011.
Below is a student report of the camp.
We set off on February 5 at 10 am. Our team consisted of 39 students and 5 faculty members from both campuses. We reached the camp site in Neliyampathy at around 4.30 pm.
Within two hours, we had begun our activities for community mobilization. We divided ourselves into two groups and went to two different hamlets to publicize the eye camp on the following day.
On February 6, the eye camp got underway at the Polachirrakal Higher Secondary School. Organized as part of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), with support from the Aravind Eye Hospital, it directly provided benefits to 56 patients.
Meanwhile, our camp was inaugurated by Shri. Ponnaiyan Raveendran, an ex-MP from Trivandrum.
“The key role of professional social workers is to extend love and equal justice to all the people, especially those who are vulnerable,” said the Chief Guest.
The A.V. Thomas group of companies, popularly known as AVT, has plantations and estates in the area. On February 7, we conducted a survey of the life styles of employees of the AVT estate.
The following day saw various activities at the AVT Primary School. A documentary highlighting the ill effects from the use of plastics was screened.
Afternoon sessions saw awareness classed on non-communicable diseases. Dr. P. U. Ramanand, Vice Chairman of NRHM, also attended.
That evening, we visited the Pulikadu tribal colony, where we interacted with the residents and conducted a socio – economic survey. We later took some time off to visit the scenic spots in Neliyampathy.
Day five of the camp, February 9, saw us attend a class on community development taught by Dr. S. Padmanaban, District Development Manager of NABARD.
More classes followed on the next day. We learned about micro-insurance from Shri. P. Ramakrishna, Manager, LIC India. Dr. Sree Hari, NRHM District Program Manager, gave us an overview of the National Rural Health Mission.
We concluded the day with a nice camp fire.
The final day of the camp saw us interact with students of Polachirakal Higher Secondary School. A sumptuous Kerala Sadhya followed.
We left Neliyampathy at 2.00 pm and arrived on campus by 8.00 pm. The seven-day camp was a memorable experience.
Not only did it provide a break from our classrooms, we also gained valuable experience in organizational skills. Various student committees had worked together to make camp successful.
An important feature was the evaluation meeting conducted at the end of each day, that helped in understanding the pros and cons of each activity.
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