Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar is slated to be the chief guest at the centenary celebrations of the Delhi University’s historic Indraprastha College for Women, which was founded in 1924.
Sources said the function to mark the eventful 100 years of the institution will be held on the charming college campus on February 7.
This day holds significance in the journey of the institution whose history is intertwined with the movement for women’s education and the Independence movement of India.
The current iconic premises of the college in Civil Lines was inaugurated on February 7, 1939 by then Vicereine Lady Linlithgow.
Currently called the Indraprastha College for Women or more popularly ‘IP college’, the institution, the oldest women’s college of Delhi University, was started two years after the creation of the varsity, which itself marked its centenary in 2022.
Sources told PTI that preparations are underway at the college campus for hosting the centenary event which will be held at the college ground.
Vice President Dhankhar is slated to be the chief guest at the 100th anniversary celebrations, they said.
The renowned institution is one of the most sought-after colleges for women in the country, with several noted personalities counted among its alumnae.
The institution traces its origin from the Indraprastha Girls’ Senior Secondary School founded by a few philanthropists of the Delhi Theosophical Society in 1904 at a haveli at Chippiwara near Jama Masjid in Old Delhi.
The college began as an intermediate college in two rooms of the school in 1924, according to archival records.
It subsequently moved to Chandrawali Bhawan in the Civil Lines area in 1934 and then to its present premises ‘Alipore House’ on August 9, 1938. The college’s premises were formally inaugurated in its new abode by the then Vicereine Lady Linlithgow a year later.
An archival image of the invite issued for the 1939 event, accessed by PTI, mentions the institution’s name as “The Indraprastha Girls’ College”.
The college had come out with a “heritage calendar” for the year 2023, marking the beginning of its centenary year.
The charming ‘Alipore House’ was conceived and designed in 1917-18 by British architect Walter George as the office-cum-residence of the British commander-in-chief. The building epitomises Indo-British architectural style with semi-circular arches and turrets marking its facade and the entire roofline, according to information shared on the college’s website.
“The college, as the first women’s college of the University of Delhi and Delhi, has made invaluable contributions to the freedom struggle and national politics, to women’s education and women empowerment. In 2002, the college building was declared a ‘Heritage Building’ by the government of NCT of Delhi,” it says.
“Leonara G’meiner was the founder principal of Indraprastha Girls’ High School and Intermediate College. A theosophist and a committed follower of Annie Besant, she moved from Australia to India in 1905 at the call of Annie Besant to serve the cause of women’s education,” it says.
“She was the principal of the school from 1905 onwards and then of both the school and the college from 1924 to 1934. Along with Lala Jugal Kishore, G’meiner continued the effort to draw as many girls as possible to the school and strengthened her plea against early marriages and the tradition of ‘purdah’,” it said.
Under her aegis, with the opening of intermediate classes in 1924, the college was opened to girls of all castes and communities, with no economic barriers. As the college grew, she identified ‘Alipore House’ as an ideal location for housing the college, a dream that was fulfilled later by her successor, Kalavati Gupta.
Rare photographs of the college, including of the 1939 inauguration by Vicereine Lady Linlithgow, are housed at the college’s ‘Museum and Archives Learning Resource Centre’, set up in 2015.