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Father Santhanaraj Ubagaram SDB successfully defends his Doctoral Thesis
Tiruchy, Apr. 25. Father Santhanaraj from the Salesian Province of Tiruchy (INT) successfully defended his doctoral thesis on the topic: ''The Coping Patterns and Factors among Children in the post Tsunami disaster of 2004 from the Human Resource (HR) Perspective'' on 05,April,2018, at St. Joseph's College, Thiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, working along with Dr.S.Lazar SJ the Research Advisor and Dr.P.Devanesan the Research Co-Advisor.

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The study was conducted in the Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu, where Don Bosco Tharangambadi (Kazhiappannalur, called as 'Don Bosco Society' - 'DBS' in the study), (formerly attached to Salem Don Bosco Anbu Illam) was working for the rehabilitation of Tsunami victims. One of its interventions was with the children.

This study focuses on the intervention of Don Bosco and attempts to understand interpret and present the same from a Human Resource perspective. The study being multi-disciplinary in nature (Psychology, Social Work and Human Resource Management), describes and diagnoses the relationship between the Coping patterns of children with the factors such as the Impact of the Event, Experience of Social Support and Adjustment to the changed family environment of children. It was found that higher the level of impact of the event and greater the loss, higher was their tendency towards positive coping, higher level of experience of social support and higher levels of adjustment to the changed family environment.

The analysis and interpretation has established the following: Considering Children and youth not as mere recipients of welfare measures but primarily as Potential Human Resource does enable them towards positive coping in a post disaster situation; creating a Conducive Human Environment based on relationship of Accompaniment, Listening, Love, Care, Concern, Encouragement, Motivation etc.. is a basic indispensable component in realizing this; Don Bosco society with its approach and spirituality of 'Presence with the Young' has realized this by adopting the methodology of 'Being For' and 'Being With' in accompanying children in the post tsunami disaster. The study proposes this experience of Don Bosco Society of Accompanying children by being present with them in a loving manner to be developed both as a conceptual framework and practical model to work for the rehabilitation of Children and young persons in an adverse post disaster situation.

The study also makes a suggestion to the Don Bosco Society having worldwide operative reach and a century old experience of working with children and young people, that while it has got the core elements of creating a 'conducive human environment' in its strategy, incorporating and articulating this HR perspective explicitly in its vision, mission, formation, planning, execution and review would further enhance their reach for the integral and holistic growth of the young people both in ordinary and extra ordinary situations. It is also indicated that the absence of such an approach would be a glaring lacuna in our mission today.

The thesis was adjudicated by two examiners, one from a University abroad and another in India prior to the defense. Both the examiners have appreciated and applauded this new and unique contribution in the field of HRD and noted that in a context where only adults are considered as HR, proposing Children and Youth as Potential HR is first of its kind in the HRD discussions which is a welcome addition to its literature itself. And finally at the defense the external examiner (from St. Xavier's College, Palayamkottai, Tamil Nadu) who conducted the public viva-voce examination declared the thesis as highly commendable.


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