Social welfare services are intended
to cater to the weaker sections of the population. These include women,
children, handicapped, aged, scheduled castes and tribes.
Ministry of Welfare:
The Ministry of Welfare. Govt. of India, has been formed by
pooling subjects related to welfare of the disabled, programmes of social
defense, welfare of the scheduled castes and tribes and minorities.
The welfare of women and child
development is looked after by a separate Department of Women and Child
Development set up in the Ministry of Human Resources Development.
Welfare of the disabled: The number of disabled persons in
the country has been estimated to be around 120 lakhs.
The Ministry of Welfare is
implementing programmes for the early detection, treatment, education and
rehabilitation of disabled persons, namely the blind, the deaf, the
orthopaedically handicapped, the mentally retarded, spastics and the leprosy
Social defence: Problems of family
and social disorganization are manifest in the form of delinquency, juvenile
vagrancy, drug addiction, alcoholism and crimes of various types.
In order to control these problems,
programmes of social defence have been launched by the Government, mainly
within the framework of specific legislation and allied measures.
child development: The Department of Women and Child Development in the
Ministry of Human Resource Development has two bureaux : (i) Nutrition and
child development, and (ii) Women's welfare and development.
The Central Social Welfare Board and
the National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development assist the
Department in its functions.
Social Welfare Board: The Central Social Welfare Board was set up in 1953. It
surveys the needs and requirements of social welfare organizations in the
All welfare schemes sponsored by the
Board are implemented through voluntary agencies such as Mahila Mandals. The
Mahila Mandals receive grants up to the extent of 75 per cent for approved
activities. Some of these activities are:
8. Nutrition Programmes. These are feeding programmes to
children in the age group 0-6 years, nursing and expectant mothers.
9. ICDS Project: In the Fifth Five Year Plan highest priority
had been accorded to child welfare programmes. The most important scheme in
this field was the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) for children in
the age group 0-6 years, nursing and expectant mothers, etc.
10. Under the scheme, a package of services consisting of supplementary
nutrition, immunization, health check- up, referral services, nutrition and
health education and non-formal pre-school education was delivered.
11. There are now 4131 ICDS projects operating in selected
blocks in the country. A Child Development Project Officer is directly
in-charge of each ICDS project. The focal point for delivery of services is an
Other Activities: Numerous other-
services are rendered such as organizing Working Women's Hostels, Foster Care
Homes, services to physically handicapped persons, welfare services for the
Aged and socio-economic projects.
Besides the Central and State Governments, more than 10,000
voluntary organizations are also, engaged in social welfare activities. Important
The Indian Red Cross Society
Bharat Sevak Samaj.
The Kasturba Memorial Fund.
The Hindu Kusht Nivaran Sangh.
Tuberculosis Association of India.
Indian Council for Child Welfare.
Family Planning Association of
All India Women's Conference.
The All India Blind Relief Society.
community health services 1. Industrial nursing:
The care of healthy people is the principal function of an
occupational health service. This is quite unlike the care of sick people in a
hospital setting. Doctors and nurses who are accustomed to the background of
illness-oriented or curative medicine may not be quite successful in an
occupational setting unless they are oriented to work in the care of healthy groups.
The aim of occupational health service is to keep the people
at work healthy and to prevent them from falling ill. The whole emphasis is on
prevention of ill-health and promotion of health.
Basic functions of an occupational
It is useful to consider at this juncture the basic
functions of an occupational health service:
To identify occupational hazards.
To advise on the control of occupational hazards.
It Is not the role of an occupational health service to
become deeply involved in routine medical treatment (except to give initial
treatment for injuries and illnesses of sudden onset).
To recognize at an early stage occupational or other disease
and to screen vulnerable groups if advisable.
To give advice about the placement of people in suitable
To provide general advice and supervision .of conditions at
work which may influence health such as general and food sanitation.
To undertake health education.
It will be seen from the above list that most of the
functions are preventive.
Role of Nurses in occupational
Nurses will have to function within
the framework of the above listed functions, which are mostly preventive in
nature. Accordingly the role of nurses will include the following:
she will assist the medical officer
at examination of employees.
she will take an intelligent
interest to protect and improve the physical and mental health of all workers.
she will attend to daily treatment
of minor injuries, and assist the doctor when necessary.
she must have good knowledge of
she must be able to identify, assess
and advise management on the control of any health hazards affecting employees
she may have to run an immunization
clinic, antenatal clinic or school health clinic
she has to conduct health education
in all situations
she may undertake home visiting and
propagate the ideas of health and family welfare.
The occupational health nurse must
have a strong bias towards preventive medicine. One nurse can deal with between
500 to 2000 work people. She should attend refresher in-service training
courses from time to time.