In 1921, the Late Padmashree Kamalatai Hospet founded the Matru Sewa Sangh in the city of Nagpur. Having witnessed the abysmal facilities for pregnant Indian women, Kamalatai, widowed at the age of 15, set up maternity homes in Central Provinces and Berar. Her work, and more so her nature, attracted some remarkable individuals who engaged their life, expanding the domain of Matru Sewa Sangh. One such person was Dr (Ms) Satyabala Tayal. A true Gandhian, Satyabala had walked miles in the scorching sun of Hissar (Haryana) as a Bhoodan worker – a contribution acknowledged in the form of a ‘Praman Patra’ (1957) awarded by the Government of Punjab. Drawn to Matru Sewa Sangh by its unique ‘all- women run’ organizational structure, and on the advice from Kamalatai, Satyabala, came to Nagpur in 1956. Observing the growing activities of Matru Sewa Sangh and the ensuing shortage of trained human power, she decided on a “School of Social Work”.
The Matru Sewa Sangh Institute of Social Work (earlier known as the “School of social Work for Women”) was founded by Dr Satyabala Tayal began in 1958 with just seven students in a small room in the premises of Matru Sewa Sangh at Sitabuldi in Nagpur, offering just a Certificate Course in Social Work. It was the first such Institution in Central India. It evolved with a coherent perspective, from a Certificate course in Social Work (CSW) to a Bachelor’s course (BSW). Subsequently the Masters (MSW) and M.Phil courses followed. To strengthen the academic programmes the Institute pioneered field action projects in hospital and community settings for rural people, abandoned children, women in distress, low-income families in slum localities and drug addicts. In the last decade the Institute has been offering its expertise in the areas of monitoring, evaluation, and research to governmental and non-governmental organizations. The Government of Maharashtra honoured Dr Satyabala Tayal with the Savitribai Phule Award in 1990. Nourished by the liberal tradition and social reform orientation of the MSS, The Matru Sewa Sangh Institute of Social Work continues to grow contributing its efforts in the making of a modern India.
Recognition of the high standards of social work education set by the Institute came with an ‘A’ Grade from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) of the UGC.
A view of the main building of the Institute
The Matru Sewa Sangh Institute of Social Work aspires to become a preeminent abode of
- knowledge that is robust, committed, futuristic and people centered and that addresses the complexities of human conditions.
- Impart professional knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for building a democratic society that is emancipated, enlightened and empowered.
- Develop a cadre of professionals – both men and women – who will strive towards building a society that is inclusive, free from exploitation and who will be sensitive to the emerging challenges at the local, regional, national and global level.
- An unwavering faith in human dignity;
- Belief in social justice, equity, equality, human rights, freedom and democracy;
- An abiding faith in duty towards other individuals and society;
- Education grounded in free and scientific inquiry;
- Professional competence and ethical conduct in all walks of life;
- Fostering interrelationship among different sections of society and tolerance of differences;
- Respect for plurality of background, culture, orientation and diversity of thoughts;
A deep affinity towards the environment and concern for the well being of our planet.
- The Matru Sewa Sangh Institute of Social Work seeks to provide the highest quality of social work education to prepare committed professional social workers.
- The Institute offers opportunities for teaching-learning through theory, practical, research, field action and extension projects in the context of the prevailing social, cultural, economic and political realities of our country.
Being a pioneering institute of social work education of this region, it sets standards for working with individuals, groups, communities and organizations in order to attain equality, equity, social justice, secularism and freedom so that all forms of discrimination and exploitation in the society can be eliminated.