Since 1999, we have been welcoming the next generation of social workers and activists to attend residential conferences, now held twice a year, to learn more about our work and discuss social issues.
Our first youth camp of 2017 'To Inspire & Direct Service' took place 26-27 January with the aim of raising important issues in our wider community and encourage participants to explore social work as a subject and as a vocation. In total, 120 people from across Maharashtra attended the two-day residential camp at our Rehab Center, enjoying motivational sessions with 11 guest speakers, cultural programmes and yoga.
Our carefully chosen speakers shared their success in their own careers in social and constructive work for the improvement and rehabilitation of those from deprived areas of society. They included an inaugural address by Dr Asha Massey, a Chief Medical officer of Leprosy Mission India, highlighting how leprosy is still very much a modern-day issue. Ajay Stahey, Chief of Bajaj Finserve Ltd delivered ‘Fundraising: Base of social work’, highlighting fundraising and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
“As long as your social desire is not put into direct action there is no any hope of change in society,” expressed Mr Nandu Palawe in his session, the ‘First step in social work.’ Mr Farukh Sheikh, a pharmacist who, inspired by Snehalaya, runs a shelter home for 40 children in Karjat explained how social workers need to be resilient to overcome the difficulties and barriers social service brings. Mr Kiran Kale from Unnati Organisation guided participants on the topic ‘Barriers & opportunities in Social Work.’ Well-known advocate Mr Jayadeep Deshpande provided practical information on establishing social organisations and their responsibility in society.
Mrs Suniti Phadake, the well-known social activist, was Chief Guest for the second day of the camp, which was opened with our Republic Day flag raising ceremony. She said: “There are too many generous people in society that want to donate but they don’t always find the hands that really deserve it.” The camp was also able to hear from the 12 individuals selected to receive our Snehalaya Awards in recognition of their social work in different areas.
The programme concluded with a pledge taken by all attendees to play their part in making India’s future bright. If you are interested in attending future camps please email firstname.lastname@example.org.