Jyotsna Mody is a graduate social worker with field-level experience of over 55 years. She has studied at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India and at the School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. She has held variety of managerial positions in social work agencies in Mumbai and abroad. She has groomed many an upcoming young professionals and college students in launching their career.
Jyotsna put the COVID -19 lockdown to a good advantage by writing her first book which provides easy solutions to the complex problems of Non-Profit Organizations.
- Tell us something about yourself.
I am Jyotsna Mody, a “Mumbaikar” (native Mumbai resident) raised in a traditional but forward-thinking Gujarati family. As a girl, I was encouraged to follow my interests, study and live away from home and pursue a professional career which was unusual at the time. My dream was to be a social worker and be part of solutions for my country. To that end, I attended Tata Institute of Social Sciences for a master’s degree in social work.
I started my career in a Parsi organization, and then joined a prestigious Action-Research Project of College of Social work in Mumbai as a field community worker. I was mentored by some very kind and experienced Social Workers who spared no efforts in grooming me for the job.
In the year 1967 I married and relocated to USA with my spouse. I took this wonderful opportunity to expand my knowledge of the field further. I completed a second master’s degree in Social Work with emphasis on Administration from Ann Arbor, Michigan. At that time, it was the top ranked Social Works Program in the USA. Looking back, it was one the happiest time periods for me in America.
This was followed by diverse work experiences in USA and Canada- from being a medical social worker to managing group homes for troubled teens. The experience spanned 7 years and profoundly changed my approach and understanding of the field.
These years also saw the birth of my daughter in Canada and then my son in USA.
My children’s birth made me rethink my priorities. It was important that my children receive Indian education, understand their roots, and have the support and love of close knit extended Indian family. For that reason, we four returned to Mumbai in 1974.
In Mumbai, I joined Society for the Education of the Crippled (S.E.C.). I remained with S.E.C. for almost 22 years. Amongst years of personal turmoil and eventual separation from spouse, I found solace in my work.
Post retiring from the S.E.C. in 1991 I worked as a free-lance social worker consultant for several Organizations and specifically spent 20 years at Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust.
I had never thought that I would stop working till my dying days. I would have been still working if there was no COVID lockdown. The enforced stay at home gave me a chance to take a pause, reflect on my life and dust off long dormant projects amongst which one was authoring this book.
The children were grown up, married, and settled in the countries they were born in. Now it was time to do something different to celebrate my 80th year.
- What compelled you to write this book?
I had worked tirelessly to collect references and relevant information on my subject that I was teaching at TISS as a guest lecturer. When you talk of the topics over and over again it becomes part of you. In my case, that knowledge was not just part of me, it was practiced number of times, in my own work situations, with my colleagues, with other NGOs who sought my guidance and most of all students. The whole experience had finally crystalized in fine theory. It was time to pen down “Zero Defect” concept and ways of” Good Governance” for the benefit of future generations.
That is how the book writing began.
- For how long have you been writing this book? What challenges did you face?
I was trying to write for 3-4 years, but the real drive came only after the Covid work from Home situation.
My biggest difficulty was the lack of formal computer knowledge. I was dependent on my juniors who were around me in the office till now. It was difficult to carry out all techie operations all by myself without them. I was under constant fear of pressing a wrong key and losing my data. Worst still, I could not call any of my trouble shooters due to Covid restrictions.
I got the help of children around me at home, but that being risky, was kept to minimal.
- Which is the most memorable moment for you through -out the journey of your book?
Initial stage a great anxiety as to what if I lose all my work, or if it goes in the wrong hands. My gut feeling told me I can trust 24by7.
The memorable moment was to copy paste final text, all 200 pages to 24by7. Will I be able to hold my curser for long enough? It was scary, I kept chanting mantras for God to help me!!! While my curser was firmly pressed on ‘select’.
- Is writing your hobby or passion?
I have been writing and writing at my work for long years. Case studies, annual reports, project reports, appeal letters and so on. People appreciate my writing. But the book was first attempt.
- Are you planning to write again?
- Do you believe that when author dies reader is born?
This may happen in many cases, but not if you get” Best-Seller” label in your lifetime.
- For you what is a literary success?
Writing which touches heart of a person, and if you are a student the text which helps them get “A” grade.
- Did you have any advice from budding authors out here?
I asked four eminent persons to have a look at my draft and advice.
- What is like to be with 24by7 publishing?
Helpful, understand your difficulties, dependable and doing professional job. Would like to visit them one day in Kolkata.
Book available on multiple platforms:
24by7Publishing online Shop (Golpapa): https://golpapa.com/product/management-solutions-for-non-profits-a-handbook-by-jyotsna-mody-management/
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