According to the African Proverb, “You educate a man, you educate a man. You educate a woman, you educate a nation”. But this was a distant reality to the women belonging to the tribal community of the Nilgiri district, untill the educational institute, ‘Providence College for Women’ was founded.
Tribes of Blue Mountain:
Nilgiri district is a mountainous region of forests and tea plantations located in the state of Tamil Nadu. The blue mountain, is a home for many tribal groups like Toda, Badaga, Kota and Kurumba. All these tribes belonged to backward classes, whose main occupation was agriculture. Due to monetary and distance crisis, women belonging to these tribal communities were not able to continue their higher education and were getting married at a young age. As a solution to these issues, the educational institute, ‘Providence College for Women’ was started, to provide education to the women belonging to the lower classes and to empower them. It was a beginning of a new era for the women belonging to the under privileged society.
The Scenic Campus:
This educational institution was founded and run by a group of sisters from St.Joseph of Tarbes in the year 1966. It is located in Springfield, which is a spacious campus surrounded by the scenic beauty of nature, situated in the Nilgiri district. It is said that this campus was once the summer home for the Maharaja of Cochin. This campus includes well equipped classrooms, administration building, canteen, hostel, computer center, sports ground, garden and a highly resourceful library. Initially, the institution started with only thirty-one students, but now more than thousand students are studying here. The institution is affiliated to Bharathiar University, Coimbatore and NACC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) has graded it with ‘A’, making it the first women’s institution in the Nilgiri’s to get accredited with this grade. They also completed their golden jubilee in the year 2016 and in order to celebrate it, they distributed fifty thousand vegetable saplings to the people of Nilgiri district, creating a record.
The institution offers various courses at the under-graduate and post-graduate level in the streams of arts and science. The under- graduate courses include, B.A. English Literature, B.A. History, B.A. Economics, B.Sc. Mathematics, B.Sc. Botany, B.Com and B.C.A. The post-graduate courses include, M.A. English Literature, M.A. Economics, M.Sc. Mathematics, M.Sc. Computer Science and M.Com. They also offer research programs in a number of courses. The institution strives hard to help the students in sharpening their skills in the field of their choice. This is reflected in the qualification examination where the results are quite high and the students have achieved university ranks every year making the institution proud.
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Job-Oriented Courses for a Secure Future:
In addition to these courses, the institution also provides ‘certificate courses’ for the under-graduate students. It is mandatory for the first- and second-year students to choose one certificate course for that academic year. It includes, Fashion Designing, Vermi-Composting, Driving, Beautician, Journalism, Travel and Tourism, Spoken English and Computer. These certificate courses open a lot of job opportunities to the students when they graduate from the institution. The institution also provides coaching classes for civil service and bank examinations, which helps the students in preparing for the competitive examinations.
The Diverse Clubs:
The institution has also diverse clubs which paves way for making the students into a socially responsible citizen. The club activities include, blood donation camp, health awareness camp and inter religious programs. Also, there are ‘Village Adoption Programs’, carried out in the form of extension activities, where students are engaged in community developments and services to the illiterate and poor. The institution also organizes various seminars and workshops to bring an awareness among the students on the on-going trends. Throughout the year, various co-curricular activities are conduced to bring out the hidden talents of the students. All these activities and programs helps in shaping the student’s personality and gives them confidence in facing the society that is waiting to judge them.
Various job prospects are brought in the form of campus interviews for the final year students. More than eighty percentage of students get placed every year in reputed schools and companies. Through this, the institution provides great opportunities to the students to lead an independent and secure life in a job scarcity society.
Women education is very important for a country’s development. Since, the female graduates make up more than twenty percentage of the women in Congress, thirty percentage of business week and female rising stars of Corporate America and twenty percentage of Black Enterprise Magazines. This institution has successfully helped young woman in pursing their dreams and gave them strength to make a place for themselves in both their personal and professional life. It has played a vital role in educating and inspiring young women to become successful in their lives. The educational institute ‘Providence College for Women’ with its education has given its recipients an edge in careers and life, creating a new era for the women.
By Samyuktha R, Tamil Nadu, INDIA