"The uplift of women, the awakening of the masses, must come first and
then only can any real good come about for the country, for India.."
It is a matter of great pride and honour to me that Ramakrishna Sarada Mission Vivekananda Vidyabhavan (estbd 1961), the first educational institution founded under the aegis of Sri Sarada Math, ranks among the premier women’s colleges in the country. Built along the ideals of Swami Vivekananda, who emphasized educating the women in order to build a well balanced and progressive society, the College is an institution consciously planned for nurturing and strengthening the physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual faculties of the young students. It marks a bold departure from the existing pattern of educational institutions - here students work under the direct supervision and care of the dedicated faculty and monastic members, with whom they share an informal and cordial relationship, a rarity in the current academic scenario marred by campus violence, intolerance and political interference.
The college provides a peaceful and apolitical academic environment, ideal for the pursuit of an all-round education. At the same time, much planning and effort is given to expand the definition and scope of education beyond the confines of the classroom. Students are encouraged to participate in several co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, and are also oriented towards service learning and value based education by being inducted into the numerous outreach activities carried out by the institution.
Excellent academic performances, like a cent-percent pass record and regular university ranks, reflect the dedication and hard work of both faculty and students. However, the greatest challenge before us is to help our students become financially independent and socially empowered. We have realized that a mere bachelor’s degree, or even a master’s degree, does not make them eligible for a successful career, academic or otherwise. It pains me greatly to find several students with excellent results, even college toppers, ending up demotivated and directionless; without a career, failing to secure jobs as they are often underprepared for the cut throat competition of the current job market.
We have taken up the challenge, once again following the ideology of our guiding force, the visionary Swami Vivekananda, who had emphasized the importance of professional training for holistic improvement of women. To that effect, we have initiated a number of skill based, career oriented, professional courses, under the supervision of the RKSMVV School for Professional Studies, to provide guidance and training to our students – past and present - to help them become successful professionals. Collaborations with eminent institutions have been forged, syllabi and internships meticulously planned and financial assistance provided for deserving students. Currently there are 6 post graduate diploma and certificate courses being offered, with plans for more.
A unique feature of the college is its student demography, a combination of the urban, semi urban and rural, with varying economic status. There are students who are first generation learners, often hailing from the remotest of villages, who are victims of social injustice. Many belong to the financially disadvantaged section, with family incomes below the poverty line. The institution offers substantial financial assistance, scholarships and provides hostel accommodation at nominal rates for these young women who come from all districts of West Bengal and neighboring states. The professional courses, too, are offered at a subsidized rate to underprivileged students, past and present.
However, I feel this is just the beginning of the journey. We can only pray to Sri Ramakrishna Dev, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda to shower their blessings and give us strength so that we can pursue our goal that Swamiji had envisioned for women. I aspire this attempt to grow with everyones support and good wishes and one day see all our students stand up on their own feet.