Andhra Pradesh

Old students extend birthday wishes to their first principal

When K. Rajeswari Murthy entered her 100th year on Thursday, she was widely remembered by the alumni and her junior colleagues at Sri Padmavathi Women’s College.

Now settled in the U.S., the best gift Dr. Rajeswari Murthy received on the memorable occasion was the wishes from her old students, many of whom were sexagenarians and septuagenarians!

Born on December 10, 1921, at Peddapuram in East Godavari district, Dr. Rajeswari Murthy had studied in the prestigious Madras Presidency College, where she taught mathematics later.

At the behest of the then TTD Executive Officer, C. Anna Rao, she had shifted from the metropolitan city to the little town of Tirupati in 1954 to become the first principal of the women’s college.

Reformative steps

The path-breaking and reformative steps during her two-decade stint had paved the way for the emergence of the all-women institution as No.1 in the backward Rayalaseema region. Her untiring efforts encouraged many girls to join colleges at a time when higher education was only for men.

Dr. Rajeswari Murthy’s bold steps included the launch of India’s first undergraduate course in population studies, the State’s first course in Home Science, and the ‘Earn while you learn’ programme to make education enlightening as well as remunerative for the students.

USIEF recognition

The college had attained fame at the international level on its recognition in 1965 by the United States India Educational Foundation (USIEF), under which teachers from the institution were sent to the U.S. for student service training.

Though the college is older to Sri Venkateswara University by four years, the dwindling patronage from girl students has been a cause for concern.

“Whatever be the present situation, the college owes its existence to Dr. Rajeswari Murthy,” recalled D.M. Premavathy, a retired Reader in Telugu, who had worked in close association with Dr. Rajeswari Murthy.

With Dr. Premavathy as the coordinator, many old students who had settled across the globe came together to send birthday wishes to their beloved ‘principal’ through mail, which the latter promptly acknowledged with thanks.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 10:03:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/old-students-extend-birthday-wishes-to-their-first-principal/article33302669.ece

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