About the Congress
The Indian Social Work Congress is an initiative of National Association of Professional Social Workers in India (NAPSWI). With modest beginning at Delhi University in 2013, the effort continued through second Congress in 2014 at University of Pune, third in 2015 at JVBI, Ladnun and 4th at Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith, Varanasi. In the similar progression, it is being organised for the fifth time by the Department of Social Work of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit (SSUS) at the birth place of Adishankara on the banks of Periyar. The intent of ISWC is to bring the alliance of professional social workers as one assembly to discuss and deliberate upon the apprehensions related to the social work education, practice and research in India. It aims to strengthen the social work profession to ensure social justice and human rights for all and to deliberate and record the response of the profession with regard to various social realities and struggling experiences. The 5th episode “ISWC ’17” in particular, aspires at the accomplishment of the following goals:

To introspect the strategic interventions and showcase the responses and ripostes of the social work profession to the meaningful management of the challenging social experiences in contemporary National and International contexts.
To craft empirically established discourses on diverse dilemmas and confrontations of societal progress vis-ŕ-vis social work profession in the shifting socio-economic and politico-cultural frameworks.

Mutually learn by sharing and exchanging the experiences of social work educators, researchers and practitioners in order to build up the theoretical and practical social work profession.

  To strengthen the professional solidarity and fraternity through the collective and collaborative commune and thereby making the profession more visible, vibrant and contributing in the contemporary social milieu.

Theme of ISWC 2017:

The thematic argument of 5th ISWC “Social Work Profession and Social Realities: Responses and Ripostes” has surfaced from the sensitivity to the present-day social alarms and struggling incidents in the continuum of the micro to macro geography of the social and ecological existence. The emergence of new economic realities around the globe especially in India, over powered by the information technology and compelling dominance of the Euro - American economic philosophies mooted by the newer political alliances and ideologies in power, has uprooted the being and living of common people and marginalized existences. The State and organised power holders with the mightiness of money and machine have started to make the democratic and harmonious existence of the underprivileged and the periphery dwellers highly challenged and threatened. The market driven ethics of the persuasive powerhouses with forsaken social consciousness and social responsibilities has converted the social realities as hard-hitting social experiences of exclusion and elimination. Nevertheless, the self-critical and reflective deliberations on the scientific and strategic response of the Social work profession so far, make us precariously silenced and challenged. In the highly complex and polarized social truths around the globe in general and India in particular the engaged space of social work profession as a system of crafting the art of survival and empowering propositions is not effectively identified, addressed and propounded.

This dilemma of dichotomy with social and professional incompatibility is very clearly manifested in the domains of all social walks. The Social institutions like, family, education, religion, politics, social legislative orders and other societal systems are challenged with the survival and meaningful presence. The psychological, social and physical health care services and institutions are monopolized by the power groups and the health seeking patterns are dictated. The life and dignified engagement of the farming community is on the verge of genocide as the tradition of farming is taken away by the market forces and greedy money powers. The ordinary people are forcefully displaced from their natural dwelling as the gripped boots of the development cancer is enlarging with its invisible leashes. The everyday existence and normal social living of the marginalized and the minorities (on the basis of age, region, sexuality, gender, color, cast, religion, economy, education, occupations etc...) are questioned by the mighty powerful in the mainstream. The potential safeguards in a democratic polity (press, media, legislature, judiciary, civil societies and the socially committed individuals) are conspicuously restricted by the executive using their men in uniform and political brigades. The policies and programmes of the governments at various levels in the nexus with the money houses and international traders are in fact not bringing the desired changes in the social conditions but are making the life of the common and the underprivileged with the fragile purchasing capacity really miserable and unpromising.

The 5th Indian Social Work Congress will provide a platform to discuss and deliberate on how the profession of social work can respond itself in achieving the above objectives. At this point of time, where social work profession is undergoing major transformation from local to global level, 5th ISWC - 2017 shall take the torch and pave the road ahead to investigate newer dimensions and directions in making it more visible, powerful and creatively contributing.

Sub Themes

These subthemes are proposed as frameworks for the detailed deliberations under the congress theme. What is generally expected in the congress are the conceptual, empirical and interventional papers or posters in terms of the causes, consequences, current status, strategic interventions, potential responses in management lines including policies and programmes with social work implications to the education, and practice.

1 Social Work Response to Social Realities: From Local to Global level
2 Changing Realities of Social Problems and Ripostes of Social Institutions
3 New Socio- politico- economic realities around the Globe especially in India
4 Struggles of Social Exclusions, and Human Rights issues of Marginalized groups
5 Struggles and responses in Health, Mental health and Wellbeing sectors
6 MDGs to SDGs in India: Realities and Responses
7 Ecosystems, Climate changes and Global warming as Social Issues
8 Work , Working Places and Work force in India: Changing dimensions
9 Civil Society, Democratic Spaces and Markets: Convoluted Relationships
Social Work Education, Research, Action and Practice: Realities and Demands



National Association of Professional Social Workers in India (NAPSWI)
Department of Social work, Sree Shankaracharya University of Sanskrith, Kalady, Kerla