The American Association of Indian Social Workers (AAISW INC.) met at Twin India palace, Rockland County on 3/15/05 to celebrate Social work month. Every year March is celebrated as Social work month. This year the theme of the social work month is ‘Building on Strengths”.
The function was attended by around thirty five social workers from the tri state area.
At the welcome speech Alex Chamakala, the current president of the association spoke about the strengths that Indian social workers have in the family, the net working, the cultural heritage etc.. Quite often the tendency is to look only at the negatives and he urged the social workers present to look at the positives and build on the strengths that Indian social workers possessed.
The key note speaker and chief guest was Dr. Doug Sanders, Deputy Director, Community Services, Rockland Psychiatric Center. He began his speech comparing mind and body and what early on philosophers like Plato and Aristotle said. He then went on to the problems faced in the mental health field, and what could be done to make it better. He spoke about the changes that are in place at the mental retardation field and how that has helped consumers live a normal life in the community. He then stressed as to what social workers could do to make the lives of the mentally ill better. He also stressed the importance of building on strengths, making use of the resources that are available.
There was also discussion about social workers getting burned out. Some felt that it was rewarding and enriching while other felt they were drained.
The new information line phone numbers were distributed among the members and it will be distributed to other local places where people of Indian origin frequent.
At the meeting Roy Thomas, was recognized for his achievements as a social worker. He was recently promoted as the Chief of Service at Bronx Psychiatric center. James George who served as the Treasurer of the Association for the past four years also was recognized.
Raju Kuruvilla, the secretary gave the vote of thanks in a special way to Mrs. and Mr. James kandarapally for hosting the social work month at Twin India palace.
The meeting ended with the buffet lunch.