On January 22, 2019, a group of 25 including faculty and students of Madras School of Social Work visited Satyam centre of SARVAM for an orientation session on the rural development work being carried out under various focus areas.
Madras School of Social Work, established in 1952 and located in Chennai, is an autonomous institution affiliated to the University of Madras and renowned throughout India for its undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programmes in social work, counselling, management and social entrepreneurship.
This visit involved learning through on-field discussions about social entrepreneurship, rural and urban collaboration, and bridging the gaps, enabling the students to interact with and learn from the SARVAM coordinators and practitioners. It also allowed them to view real-world examples of successful integration of sustainable practices of rural development programmes at SARVAM.
The half-day-long programme was designed to also introduce the students to social innovation and successful SARVAM initiatives relating to education, health, women empowerment, youth development, digital and adult literacy and many such projects of SARVAM, in order to familiarize them with the tried-and-tested necessary skills and knowledge required for holistic development in a rural milieu. The programme blended a number of combined sessions including lecture-cum-demonstration, discussion on case studies, audio-visual presentations, group discussions and networking respectively.
Since most of the students and faculty members were conversant in spoken Tamil, the coordinators spoke directly to them of their experiences, challenges and successful operations. The students had many follow-up questions and showed keen interest in knowing more about the SARVAM journey in the last 15 years. Most students expressed a wish be involved in and volunteer in the activities and endeavours of SARVAM.