Indraprastha College for Women, Delhi
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CITY: New Delhi
Indraprastha College for Women is the oldest women's college in Delhi and is affiliated to the University of Delhi. It offers graduate and post-graduate courses in Liberal Arts, Commerce, Literature, Computer Science and Mass Communication among other fields.
The Times of India, Aug 25 2015
College archive to share tales of women's movement
In 1942, the second principal Kalavati Gupta wrote a slightly desperate-sounding letter to parents of women attending Indraprastha College for Women. She asks parents to “advise“ their daughter ward “to attend the classes or, if that is unfortunately not possible, withdraw her from the college“. The college had come close to shutting in 1930 due to student participation in the nationalist movement; by September, 1942, IP College students were “picketing,“ prompting Gupta to write to their folks. Dozens of documents, records, letters and photographs--including this gem--have been put together and will be preserved at the soon-to-be-inaugurated Museum and Archives Learning Resource Centre at IP College.
The inception and growth of Delhi's oldest women's college--IP grew from the Indraprastha Hindu Kanya Shikshalaya (itself established in 1904)--tells the story also of women's higher education in the centre, says principal Babli Moitra Saraf.It will be of help to all researchers and academics interested in “the early days of women's higher education“--when, adds Saraf, “the dilemma was marriage or matriculation“--and women's movements.
Gupta's letter, Annie Besant's to the college society's chairman encouraging him to accept government grant, other correspondence and documents relating to the Theosophical Society, min utes of meetings and newspaper clippings are all part of the archives' collection. Till the early 2000s, the documents were in the care of Narain Prasad, the college GB's present chairman and grandson of Lala Jugal Kishore who, with other Theosophists had established the Indraprastha school.
One lot informed a book on the college's history, Women, Education and Politics: The Women's Movement and Delhi's Indraprastha College.Prasad donated the rest later.The full set--records from 1904 to 2006--is now housed in the archive above the library .
There are photographs of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad at the college and another of women digging.“In the 1950s, the women demanded a swimming pool,“ explains Saraf. As funds were limited, the women dug the pit for the pool themselves as shramdaan.