Guwahati, March 31: With the theme “Co-building a new Eco-social World: Leaving no one Behind”, the Social Work department of the University of Science and Technology Meghalaya today celebrated World Social Work Day at the NKC Auditorium of the university. Like every year, this year too USTM Social Wok Excellence Awards were conferred on distinguished personalities who have made immense contributions to the society through their untiring work.
Social Work Excellence Award-2022 has been conferred on two Padma awardees—Padma Shri Lakhimi Baruah from Assam and Padma Shri Theilin Phanbuh from Meghalaya. Lakhimi Baruah is the founder and Managing Director, Kanaklata Mahila Urban Cooperative Bank, Jorhat. Theilin Phanbuh is a renowned social worker and former Chairperson, Meghalaya State Commission for Women. The awards were handed over by Mahbubul Hoque, Chancellor and Prof G. D. Sharma, Vice Chancellor of USTM.
Prof Dhruba Pratim Sharma, Department of Political science, Gauhati University delivered the guest lecture on this year’s theme of ‘Co-building a new eco-social world: Leaving no one behind’. Stressing on improvement of the eco-system, he said that the imbalances of development are creating problems. “We are making boundless destruction of the bounties of nature. We must develop ourselves without destroying the ecosystem. We are inheritors not only of natural heritage but also of what our forefathers have left behind”, he said.
Receiving the award, Padma Shri Lakhimi Baruah thanked all and said that Kanaklata Mahila Urban Cooperative Bank—the bank which she initiated 30 years back is the first all women run bank in the North East and its customer base is now 45,000, all of them women, mostly from the economically weaker section of the society. All the employees and board of directors of the bank are women. The bank has branches in three districts of Assam. All done with the objective of women empowerment, now the bank has become a model of study and research for students of economics and social sciences from many higher educational institutions from the country and abroad.
In her speech, Padma Shri Theilin Phanbuh expressed her thankfulness towards USTM. She has been working for awareness of women in rural areas and with different organizations for the last 45 years with the sole objective of benefit for the society.
Earlier, welcoming the awardees and guests, Mahbubul Hoque, Chancellor of USTM said that social work day celebration inspires to inculcate values and norms in our lives. The vote of thanks was offered by Monalisa Rabha, Assistant Prof of the Department of Social Work, USTM.