Malini Krishnamoorthy, Karnataka’s Additional Director-General of Police, was a cheerful student of political science at college, who had fun socialising with friends. On the other end of the spectrum is K. Aparna Devi, a practising lawyer at Madras High Court specialising in domestic violence and harassment at workplace, who was known for academic seriousness in college. The common thread passing through the two empowered women is Sri Padmavathi Women’s College, or simply SPW, from the portals of which they walked out three decades back.
Taking some time off their busy itinerary, the two came to their alma mater, the first time in over 30 years, to attend its 66th annual day on Tuesday, when they had a chat with The Hindu . They attributed their successful career to their fruitful stint in the college, which was not only free from pressure, but also allowed interaction with the immediate society.
Ms. Krishnamoorthy, winner of the President’s Police Medal in 2009 and 2017, always remained the class topper, but was never anxious during exams.
She recalled her friendly chats under the tree shade, weekend treks to Tirumala and ‘friendly conflicts’ with teachers. A students’ union president, Ms. Devi was a teachers’ pet in the class, in view of her academic excellence.
She is also running a school in her native village to offer free education to the poor. Both admitted that their free thinking process, proactive role in college activities and unrestrained support from parents and teachers allowed them to naturally nurture leadership qualities and emerge empowered. “This is what is grossly missing in the current day educational scenario, where colleges resemble a barn and students treated like cattle. The focus is more on marks rather than on overall personality development,” the duo told this correspondent in unison.
Going nostalgic while taking a saunter around their campus, they wondered how the TTD-run institution could still remain the preferred option for many girl students, braving the stiff competition from private players. While wishing to see the society dump the corporate education and return to such colleges focussing on overall development, the two leaders offered to contribute their bit to help SPW students emerge successful in life.