Problem Identification, Creating Awareness, Resource Mobilisation
There are people who are moved by the sight of the underprivileged section of the society. These people nurture a strong desire to bring about justice and equality for all. A Career in Social Development is the right choice for such people. With gross inequalities-social, economic and infrastructural-in the society, the field is wide open for you to put in your skills as a Development Worker. You will get the opportunity to travel throughout the length and breadth of the country to help the needy people and will get immense satisfaction by way of this. As popularly perceived, a career in Social Development is not about hard work and little pay. With the growth of the culture of corporate social responsibility and the proliferation of NGOs that are flush with funds, the prospects of lucrative remunerations are bright in this career. Society is an organised group of persons associated together for religious, benevolent, cultural, scientific, political, patriotic or other purposes. It is a highly structured system of Human Organization for Large-Scale Community living that normally provides protection, continuity, security and identity to its members.
It includes the rich and the poor, the learned and the illiterate, the healthy and the diseased, and the privileged and the underprivileged. Society is marked by imbalances and inequalities. Social Development is that part of social work in which systematic work is done to correct and rectify the imbalances and inequalities in the economy and infrastructure of the community, in rural as well as in urban areas. In the work of Social Development, scientific techniques are adopted to use various resources for the needs of individuals, groups and the community. Social Development is an art as well as a science, that helps in the empowerment of people. With increasing awareness about the need to uplift the socially and economically disabled people and increasing number of natural disasters striking the country, the need for trained professionals in Social Development is being strongly felt. As popularly perceived, Social Development does not just mean listening to the problems of people or rendering charity to the poor. The work of a Development Worker is varied and very complex.
A Development Worker is involved in field work for most of the time. The Development Worker visits people and communities and takes stock of their problems. Encouragement and support, in the form of advice, is rendered by the Development Worker. After careful assessment of the situation, resources are distributed optimally. The Development Worker closely monitors the proper allocation and use of resources in the community. A Development Worker offers counselling services to individual families or groups. In order to bolster mutual support for each other, a Development Worker brings together people having similar problems and forms groups out of them.
A Development Worker lobbies with local groups, political parties, pressure groups, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, administrative bodies like municipalities and panchayats, voluntary organizations and even international organizations working in the country. The Development Worker ensures that the mandatory duties of these organizations and the services offered by them reach all sections of the society. A Development Worker organizes awareness campaigns related to health and diseases like AIDS prevention, polio camps and eye surgery camps. Campaigns are also organized for literacy, ecological and environmental awareness as also for awareness about family planning measures. Many graduates in this field provide inputs for policy formulation at different levels of decision-making in the governmental departments. A Development Worker does the advocacy work for the socially disadvantaged groups at various levels. Besides documenting development activities, a Development Worker has to maintain detailed records of cases and also write reports and press releases.
A Development Worker has to proceed in the job in a very systematic manner. In the first step, problems affecting the community are identified. Lack of electricity, unavailability of potable water, poor healthcare and medical facilities, lack of primary schools and lack of housing facilities are some of the problems which affect communities. Other problems affecting communities are minority issues, gender-related issues and issues related to caste groups. In the second step, the Development Worker creates awareness about the problems, by organising campaigns and influencing policies. In the third step, the Development Worker mobilises resources, with the help of various organisations and bodies. Lastly, the Development Worker closely monitors the programs and gets them documented.