/A college that was started by a Ladies Club: Vanita Samaj Bhopal

A college that was started by a Ladies Club: Vanita Samaj Bhopal

When you think of a Ladies club you think of diamond dripping socialites , getting together to tear an absentee member apart in more ways than one. Coffee and cakes or papdi chat and jaljeera, is just plain incidental.
Yet there is one Ladies Club , based in Bhopal, which has gone beyond the pale of regular Ladies Clubs or kitty parties.

In the year 1959-60 Vanita Samaj Club was set up by a few educated and socially aware ladies who decided to meet every Wednesday afternoon at a community hall at Bhopal. Their regular meetings every week resulted in healthy social interactions and laid the foundation for these dynamic women to take the next step.

After the States Reorganisation Act of 1956, Bhopal state was integrated into the Sehore district of the newly formed state of Madhya Pradesh. Bhopal city, which was essentially a sleepy little town with its own nawab sahib who also happened to be a cricketing hero, was declared as the capital of Madhya Pradesh. A lot of newly minted public officials were posted in to start setting up the capital, which the officials came with their families and children and to their dismay found no proper schools At a social gathering the topic came up and one of the senior officials suggested to the ladies of the Vanita Samaj that they should start at least a play school ( to begin with!)

The seed that was planted on a social evening soon took root and gave a tremendous fillip to the dynamic members of the Club Vanita Samaj started ANAND VIHAR SCHOOL as a Montessori school at Community Hall, T.T. Nagar, Bhopal, on 02 September 1963 with 10 students only. Children were taught by the volunteers initially for 7 years continuously. There were only 2-3 rooms for running the classes at the present school site. These rooms were constructed in lime and mud because of shortage of funds. The then Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shri Dwarka Prasad Mishra inaugurated the 2-room School.

Vanita Samaj organized melas and collected donations from people in a door to door campaign and thus a corpus fund was created. Members ran a book shop to raise funds. Mostly the club members did the teaching as there was no money to appoint teachers on a salary. For many years, children sat on jute mats on the floor, till the ladies could collect money to provide benches and desks.

Vanita Samaj has celebrated its golden jubilee in the year 2011 and all its senior members were felicitated on the occasion.

Now Anand Vihar School has the pride of being one of the oldest schools in Bhopal, having been founded in 1963. The school is located at Tulsi Nagar providing an ideal environment for overall development of children. It is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi. At present 1908 students are enrolled here and are receiving education based on human values, equipping themselves to meet the challenges of life. A number of students have become Doctors, Engineers, Artists, Educationists, Scientists, Architects and have made a name for themselves in India and abroad.

It is a non-profit organization catering to the Social and Educational needs of society without any discrimination of caste or creed. The Managing Body of Vanita Samaj has always been a source of constant inspiration and guidance from the very beginning. They have been working tirelessly with utmost dedication for the uplift of the students by awarding a number of scholarships, freeships and concessions to the needy students from time to time. Anand Vihar School has, at present, 106 students under R.T.E.
In 1999, Vanita Samaj started Anand Vihar College for Women. The College has been running B.Com., M.Com., B.C.A., B.Ed., D.Ed. & B.A.Courses.

One of the oldest schools in Bhopal, having been founded in 1963. The school is located at Tulsi Nagar providing an ideal environment for overall development of children. It is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi. At present 1908 students are enrolled here and are receiving education based on human values, equipping themselves to meet the challenges of life. A number of students have become Doctors, Engineers, Artists, Educationists, Scientists, Architects and have made a name for themselves in India and abroad.

In this age of commercialization, the School Management wing of Vanita Samaj, has been running the school without any commercial interests. Right from the beginning Vanita Samaj has never taken any financial aid or grant from the government . Their devotion and dedication to the cause so close to their hearts is commendable.

Their mission is to provide quality education to the students, to enable them to excel in all spheres of life and become an active member of the country and the World.

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Shyamola Khanna

The first one in her orthodox Bong family to marry a Punju fighter pilot, Shyamola Khanna has never had a day’s regret, except for the fact that her dear husband of 36 years did not live to see the day her book came out. He would have been proud. From teaching kids in schools across the country, she made a tentative foray into writing lifestyle and soon acquired quite a professional level—she has been published in all the mainline newspapers and magazines. She continues to write for magazines and is now a volunteer teacher at the AOC centre and at the Denver School for the Blind where she helps kids with English.