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The origins of the field of social work can be traced to the days when the Church wielded considerable clout over what constituted right and what was considered wrong. During those times, friendly visitors were deputed by the Church and other charitable institutions to visit the poor and the underprivileged, and attempt to solve their problems, or at least lend them an ear to listen to their grievances.

This case study analysis is focussed on a significant arm of arm of social work, namely community work, and seeks to analyse the application of this form of social work, and its significance to society as a whole. This will be carried out through a detailed review and analysis of a case study relating to the subject, and drawing suitable conclusions thereof.


Community development is a key to reviving local economies and communities. It is pivotal in the delivery of services and promoting participation and joint working. Popple (1995) suggests that community work typically is driven from two distinctive roots: benevolent paternalism and collective community action. Since 1975 under Anna's leadership, Ralegan Siddhi has been evolving as a self-sufficient village and an elementary unit of social organization, displaying both these traits of successful community work. For many years now, Ralegan has been a byword for Model development. The success has made the Indian Government to request Anna to take up the program in 300 taluks (counties) of Maharastra state. The major elements responsible for the successful people's participation in Ralegan are: emergence of local leadership and voluntary action. The more the people involve themselves in the activities, the more the sustainable development.

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