GUWAHATI: With the theme of “promoting the importance of human relationship,” the University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya (USTM) organized a two-day National Convention on March 18 and 19, where this year’s Social Work Excellence Award was conferred to Birubala Rabha, social activist from Assam and Swati Paradkar, president of Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad, Mumbai. Professor Kalpana Sarathy, Acting Deputy Director in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati received Dr Udaya Mahadevan Academic Excellence Award conferred on the same event at USTM.
Expressing happiness as she received the award, Birubala Rabha, the crusader against witchcraft and witch-hunting said, “Witchcraft and witch-hunting is a very superstitious belief which exists even in today’s world. For decades, I have been doing awareness campaigns. I call upon everyone to join my mission to erase this social evil completely.” Rabha was instrumental in the passing of the Prevention of and Protection from Witch Hunting Act, 2015 by the Assam Government. The active role played by Birubala Rabha in eradication of witch-hunting is an inspiration for many who wish to bring a positive change in the society.
Receiving the award, Swati Paradkar said, “This is a big honour for me as well as the 45,000 women across India who is active part of our organization”. Swatiben is a self-made woman, an effective administrator, an entrepreneur par excellence and a torch bearer of the Gandhian concept of Sarvodaya. She joined as papad rolling sister member at a very tender age to mitigate the family’s financial crisis, at Wadala Branch in 1971, four years after the institution was formerly registered.
USTM Social Work Dept also instituted Dr Udaya Mahadevan Academic Excellence Award—after the renowned academician in Social Work who died on March 16, 2019 and the Award was conferred upon Professor Kalpana Sarathy from TISS who is specialized in the field of health social work, mental health and gender and social work.
Earlier, welcoming the awardees and guests, M Hoque, Chancellor of USTM said that the University has been constantly trying to impart professionalism with a human touch to students so that the students realize their social responsibilities. During the two days of the Convention, different sessions were taken by Professor J Henry Rozario, Director and Principal Consultant of Exodus Research and Development Pvt Ltd, Professor Victor Paul, HOD, Dept of Social Work, Christ University, Professor Sanjay Bhatt, Dept of Social Work, President NAPSWI. Some of the sessions include: “Employability Skill Development of Youth”, “Human Relationship for humanitarian work”, “Strategies of Youth Development”.
Also Read: GUWAHATI CITY