Religious Organizations and charities have been doing the work of extending help to the weak in times of need and stress throughout-the world-All the religions of the world stress on the need of giving alms to the poor and extending all help, material and emotional to people affected by war, earthquakes, floods and epidemics and the like. Every year especially in a country like India people die of cold, heat wave and floods. Only in the year 2008, thousands of people-were affected by the ravages of the Kosi River in Bihar and hundreds had died and were rendered homeless. Governmental efforts are mostly inadequate and therefore, there is a greater need for social work organizations to provide help.
Besides this there are many other social groups, which are always in need of help. They are physically handicapped mentally handicapped, war widows, destitute children, paupers, ignorant and helpless people.
It is for these people that both Governmental and non-Governmental organizations need to extend help. It is for this reason that both social work and social welfare work needs to be provided.
Both in democratic and totalitarian states, the Governments are allocating funds for the welfare of the needy.
In countries like United States of America and Western Europe welfare funds are provided to unemployed people, senior citizens and the needy. In countries like India, the Government of India and the States Governments have now started providing employment to the jobless, especially the rural jobless, poor and woman out of state funds. The welfare of the labouring class working in the factories in engaging active attention of the Governments of the day due to humanitarian considerations and the pressure of the trade unions.
The concept of a welfare state has also caught attention all over the world. The Governments have to care for the welfare of all sections of the society. That segment of the society, which hitherto was considered to be taboo, is now receiving active consideration of the Governments. Prostitutes, gay people eunuchs, tribal people, gypsies are all now catching attention of the Governments and peoples organizations also.
In India, several non-governmental organizations are working in the field of the rural development for provision of potable water construction of houses for the poor, eradication of illiteracy eradication of oilment among the poor, provisions of jobs and removal of social customs harmful to the society.
A plethora of social work and social welfare has thus, emerged in India and other developing societies.
It is with these considerations that this encyclopaedia has been prepared by an expert committee and it has tried to present both the sides of social development. The encyclopaedia has mainly dwelt on Indian situations and has tried to include the state of affairs in other developing societies also.
It is believed that this is the first encyclopaedia in the field of social work and social welfare, which presents a comprehensive view of social development in India and the developing countries.
The encyclopaedia dwells very heavily on material drawn from the American and West European sources. It is unfortunate that sufficient funds are not available for research and development in India, nor the Governmental agencies are in a position to provide funds for conducting surveys and research in the field to private agencies and individuals.
As a result of which the quality of work suffers. The editors make no claims to originality but have certainly tried to make the data quite comprehensive and up to date unfortunately no quality work is being in the universities in social sciences in India mostly the private initiatives are showing the results like this.
It is earnestly believed that this work will prove to be of immense value to students, teachers, researchers and Govt. officials as well as the social welfare agencies in India and abroad.