‘Changed times call for changes in priorities of such homes’

A State-level workshop for the representatives of orphanage managements from different parts of the State began here on Tuesday. The two-day programme under the aegis of the Kerala State Muslim Orphanages Coordination Committee and the Kerala State Orphanages Old Students Association (KSOOA) was being organised as part of the initiatives to modernise the management of orphanages in the State, said V.C. Muhammed, one of the organisers.

Welfare management of orphanages, possibilities of restructuring and redesigning of orphanages, psychological wellbeing of orphanage students, orphanage administration: new approaches, and the idea of advance care were some of the key sessions of the workshop, the organisers said.

A team of subject experts, including Jose Antony, head of the department of social work, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady; Z.A. Asharaf, Statistics Professor, Arts and Science College, Meenchantha; T.P. Javad, clinical psychologist; and Sirajudheen Parambath, senior resource person of the Centre for Information and Guidance India (CIGI), are leading different sessions of the workshop.

Basheer Kallepadam, general secretary of KSOOA , said orphanages had reached a point where “imaginative changes” needed to be infused into them if they wanted to make any significant contributions to society.

“The workshop is conducted precisely out of this conviction,” said Mr. Kallepadam.

He said the socio-economic situations had changed immensely from the early 1920s when orphanages began to exist in the State. “Food, cloth, accommodation and a little education for its inmates was the priority of orphanages in those days. But these have drastically changed now,” he said.

The workshop aimed to sensitise the orphanage managements to the changed social and educational scenario of society and prepare them to take up the challenge in all possible ways, he said. “The changed time is expecting changes in the way orphanages are being run, and we are out to help them to usher in that change in constructive ways,” said Mr. Kallepadam.

Around 80 members representing as many as 47 orphanages from different parts of the State are participating in the workshop. It will conclude on Wednesday.

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