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Social Welfare in India

Social Welfare in India
Learn first-hand the social, economic, and political currents that impact the social welfare system in India.
Mumbai, India
Language of Instruction: 
Winter Break
Academic Disciplines: 
Social Work
Graduate Courses
Program Type: 
Fulfills KU Core 4.2
Faculty Led
  • Study social work in Mumbai, India for two weeks over winter break.
  • Earn three hours of social work credit (SW560/SW855/SW955).
  • Program includes lectures, discussion, and site visits to NGOs serving disadvantaged populations in Mumbai.
Program Summary: 

Learn first-hand the social, economic, and political currents that impact the social welfare system in India. Open to undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Social Welfare; students enroll in one 3 credit course in the School of Social Welfare. The two week program will take place in Mumbai, India and includes agency visits to an array of social service organizations, a guided tour of Mumbai and the Elephanta Caves, and experience on the campus of the Tata Institute for Social Services (TISS), India's premiere school of social work (see more in the Academic Information section below).


With a population of approximately 14 million, Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay until 1996) is the most populous city in India and the second most populous city in the world. Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment center of India and home to important financial institutions including the corporate headquarters of numerous Indian and multinational corporations. The city also houses India's Hindi film and television industry, known as Bollywood, and the group will be staying on a campus very near one of the major studio filming locations.

Academic Information: 

Students will enroll in 3 hours of credit (SW560/SW855/SW955).

The program consists of a combination of lecture, discussion, and site visits to understand the social welfare system in India. The group will also visit non-governmental social service organizations (NGOs) and for-profits that work for the welfare of socially and economically disadvantaged people of Mumbai. Throughout the program, the group will have opportunities to visit and mingle with local people, eat local cuisine, shop at various locations, and potentially also visit a Hindu temple.

Credit Notes

• Pre-Social Work and BSW students can use the course towards a general education requirement or as elective credit.
• 1st year MSW students can use the course as credit for 2nd year MSW courses (Clinical Practice students: MACRO Elective and SWAAP students: Advanced Social Administration Selective) even before they have completed all of the foundation level requirements.
• 2nd year MSW students can use this course towards any elective or selective credit hours.
• Ph.D. students can use the course as elective credit.

Tata Institute for Social Services 

In Mumbai, the group will have opportunities to visit old and new sites of interest. Lectures will take place at the Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS), the premier social work school in India, and will focus on social problems and a general overview of the history of India and the region. TISS will also arrange site visits to agencies relevant to community health and mental health, children's issues, women's issues, human trafficking and prostitution, slums, and a rural agency visit. Potential agency visits include Majlis, a legal center devoted to informing, educating, and empowering women on their legal rights; Stree Mukti Sanghatana, a women's liberation group; the Slum Rehabilitation Society; NASEOH, an organization devoted to rehabilitation opportunities for people with disabilities; CORO, a grassroots organization with the aim of empowering marginalized individuals; and the Family Service Center.  These visits will give students a chance to interact with faculty and students from various sectors.


Students will stay in double occupancy guest houses or apartments on the TISS campus.  Meals are provided by TISS or taken as a group during agency visits and other outings; a special welcome and farewell meal are included.


Open to KU School of Social Welfare Students. Minimum 2.5 GPA required (exceptions considered after submission of a petition).

Further Reading: 

For more information contact:

Dr. Mahasweta M. Banerjee
The University of Kansas
School of Social Welfare
phone: 785-864-8950
e-mail: mahaswetab@ku.edu

Program Faculty: 

Mahasweta M. Banerjee, Ph.D., professor, will be the faculty director of the group. At KU, she studies theories and practices associated with poverty and social justice; Rawls, Sen, and Nussbaum's capabilities approach; and micro-enterprise as an anti-poverty strategy. She teaches qualitative and quantitative research. She was a Fulbright Scholar in India during 2007-2008. She will be the lead instructor of the course and also serve as students' main contact throughout the program.


Spring 2022 programs now accepting applications !

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