Social work has often been taken as a synonym for social welfare. However, the term social welfare has a very loose meaning and may mean different things in different jurisdictions in the world.
However, one feels truly amazed when one finds that such other individuals and institutions as are sincerely and honestly devoted to the great task of final eradication of poverty, disease and crime from the society but whose mode of work is such as does not require the distribution of money or materials are not regarded as institutions of social service.
The main reason for this seems to be that those who react to such institutions with apathy, indifference or lack of appreciation, fail to realise that the relief measures taken to provide food, clothes, money, medicine or materials, however important, are but only ad hoc measures and that these methods of service touch only the tip of the iceberg and deal with only the surface symptoms.
These measures do not finally rid the society of poverty or disease or the tendency to commit crimes nor do they attempt to prevent the suffering at its source.
Secondly, these facts have not become as widely known as they should have been that most of the diseases are caused by anxiety, trauma, mental depression, wrong food habits, the habits of smoking and alcoholic drinks and a particular type of behaviour, and that meditation and yoga culture is not in any way less effective in treating or managing these as medicine.
Likewise, it is not known to many that most of the crime is due to tension or criminal tendencies and that even poverty is due to economic exploitation by the rich, apathy of the society for the less privileged and sloth of the poor and, so, all these can be eradicated by a system of spirituo-social education which strikes at the roots of these problems.
If facts and figures had been published to give people the awareness that the ancient technique of Yoga education gives hundred-and-one benefits simultaneously and better and cheaper than any other mode of service, importance of social work done by institutions teaching meditation would never be under-rated. On the other hand, their work will be considered as social service par excellence.