29th April 2011

Were you one of the lucky ones to receive this invitation?

The Inter College Women’s Association, Patna
invite you with great joy, to celebrate with us

the Inauguration of our Silver Jubilee Year

                            on Friday, 29th April 2011, at 5.30pm
         in the Multi-purpose Hall, Patna Women’s College Campus
        Mrs. Carol Andrade, Editor, Afternoon Despatch and Courier,
                            will be the Chief Guest on the occasion
               Mrs Shashi Uban Tripathi, Member, Union Public Service
                                           Commission, New Delhi
                     Mr. K.C. Saha, Development Commissioner, Bihar
                                      will be Special Guests
  Dr. Sister M. Liceria A.C., Asst. Superior General, Apostolic Carmel
                                                 will preside
   Dr. Stuti Prasad         Dr. Nandini Mehta         Dr. Sister M. Carol A.C.
      Secretary            Programme Coordinator      Convenor, ICWa

April 29th, 2011, was much more than a red letter day in the annals of the ICWA. We might say it was a Silver Letter Day in every way, silver set off by blue - the silver and blue stage decorations made and tastefully put up by ICWA artist, Dr.Sister Marie Jessie; the mementos she prepared to be presented to the Core Group members, from which they took their cue for the sarees they chose to wear; the buttonholes pinned on the ex-students at their get-together on the 30th. Even the invitations and programmes for the occasion were Silver and Blue - tasteful indeed - colourful joy without gaudiness.

As for the programme, everyone did her bit perfectly, contributing to the enjoyment of the audience and rewarding the Core Group Members, who had put in immense effort to make the programme a success.

Planning had begun a year ahead , with Dr. Nandini Mehta and her team( Mrs Anjana Verma, Mrs Chitra Sinha, Dr. Vandana Kumar,Dr. Shampa Ghosh, Dr Pratima Sharma, Sister Celine Crasta A.C.) in charge of organizing and getting people to execute.

It was decided to have a Power Point Presentation of the History of the Association, interspersed with the depiction, in shadow play, dance, video snippets, and skits, of the main events and projects down the years. .

The committee, having done the planning, started work in earnest, 3 months ahead. It was a huge project and Nandini saw to it that all the key people involved, including Dr Stuti Prasad for information, Sister Marie Jessie for the art and hall arrangements and Sister Carol for the finance , met her committee every Monday at 3pm and meticulously chalked out in writing every detail of the arrangements.

Yes, Nandini’s was a lion’s share. But we needed another lion to draw up the Power Point Presentation. And she was at hand in Dr Stuti Prasad. As a very efficient and meticulous secretary of the association since practically the beginning, she had all the records at hand. For the script, she enlisted the help of Dr Usha Kiran Narain and Dr Vandana Dutta. Being herself experienced with the PPP, and with the support of the expert Voice Over in Ms. Neerja Lal, she soon had the material in place for the practices to start. The music expert was Mrs Anjana Verma. Mrs Chitra Sinha was indispensable for arranging for musicians and for costumes. And, towards the end, for putting the music effects into place, Sister Marie Jessie arranged for the help of Ravi Bharati Studio . The dances were the responsibility of Sister Celine(Prayer Dance and Butterflies) and Dr Pratima Sharma(Literacy). The Remand(Special ) Homes were represented by Video Snippets. They had had their Jubilee Programme earlier, on 27th March, under the supervision of Dr Usha Kiran Narain and Mrs Chitra Sinha. as the inmates could not be permitted to leave the Homes to take part in the common celebration.

                                                  Our Guests

Our Special Guests for the occasion were very especially chosen, for their connection with Patna Women’s College and for what they meant to Dr.Sister Carol and many of the Core Group members, who had been attached to Patna Women’s College in the past, as professors or students - an attachment, academic, yes, but also sentimental.

Dr. Sister M. Liceria A.C., who presided over the function, had been Principal of the college for 19 years and had also been instrumental in starting the Inter College Women’s Association. She thought it important enough to leave her onerous job in Bangalore, as Assistant Superior General of the Apostolic Carmel congregation, to come to Patna to enhance our celebrations.

Mrs Carol Andrade, Editor, Afternoon Despatch and Courier, Mumbai,came all the way from Mumbai to be with us. She is an illustrious ex-student of Patna Women’s College. Having topped the University in English Honours and got a distinction in General Knowledge, both assets for her future career, she took a prestigious course in Journalim in Mumbai and embarked on her life’s work with the Times of India. Here, she began on a series of Firsts - first woman reporter, with others to follow. After five years, she left the Times of India to start the city’s first tabloid, Midday. Five years later, she started another tabloid, Afternoon Despatch and Courier, becoming the first woman chief reporter in India. Went back to the Times in 1992, becoming Assistant Editor of its first Saturday paper, the Metropolis, and three years later Editor.

She moved on to the Response Division of TOI in 1997 and presided over the expansion into area specific newspapers. She was the Head of the Response Editrunning at its peak, nearly 60 papers all over the country for the TOI group. Retired from TOI in 2009. She went back to Afternoon, with a brief to revive it, and is still there.

She has been teaching for more than a decade in XIC, voted the best Mass Com College in India. She also does a media module for NIEM (National Institute of Event Management), is on the Board of Advisors for the Examiner, and NIMCOM, a new institution near Pune, offering a 2-year modern mass com course.

Patna Women’s College is indeed proud of her and shines in her reflected glory.

Mrs Shashi Uban Tripathi, who came from Delhi at our request, is another ex-student who has done the Patna Women’s College proud. A Gold Medalist of Patna University, having topped at the Graduate and Postgraduate levels, she was one of the 3 women students of Patna Women’s College who topped the Civil Services examination in 1970 and set, not only the college, but the whole of India ablaze with admiration. Shashi went on to take up foreign service, making a brilliant success of it.

During her 37 years of her diplomatic career, she handled varied and important assignments in a number of countries. Her first posting abroad was as Second-Secretary and later First-Secretary (Political) in the Embassy of India, Kathmandu, Nepal from 1974-77. She served as First-Secretary (Information) in the Embassy of India, Moscow, USSR from 1977-80 where, inter-alia, she edited a popular magazine called ‘INDIA’ in Russian.

In the wake of the tragic Air India Kanishka crash, a special Post of Counsellor (Information, Publicity Spokesperson) was created in the High Commission of India, Ottawa, Canada to which, she was deputed from 1985-88. After a three years, she became Deputy Consul General in the Consulate General of India, Karachi, Pakistan from 1988-92, From 1992-94, she served as Minister and then Deputy Chief of Mission (Political & Economic Affairs) in the Embassy of India, Bonn, Germany.

For the next ten years, she served as Head of Mission – first as Ambassador of India, Warsaw, Poland in 1994-97, where she was pivotal in reviving and rejuvenating India’s relations with Poland at a time when Central European countries were becoming increasingly Euro-centric, and subsequently as High Commissioner of India in Harare, Zimbabwe (1997-98). Her tenure as Consul General of India in New York, USA (1988-02) was marked by the entry of major Indian corporate players on the New York Stock Exchange, as also the change in the perception of India as a rising economic force. During the tragic terrorist attack of 9/11, she set up a twenty-four hour ‘Crisis Centre’ at the Consulate General of India to render disaster relief whose work was appreciated by the local as well as Indian Media and the Hon’ble Parliament. She was High Commissioner for India in Ottawa, Canada from 2002-04. Her last assignment was as Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, where she was responsible for overseeing India’s relations with Europe, Africa and Latin America.

She joined as Member, Union Public Service Commission, in May, 2007.

Mr. K. C. Saha, one of the most respected and revered officers of Bihar, is at present Development Commissioner to the Government of Bihar. He has served in various sectors of the State - Education, Industry, Agriculture, Welfare, Panchayat Raj, Election. He has also worked in the Election Commission of India and the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India. He was requested by the United Nations to work on a research project on migration in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. His work was highly appreciated.

Mr. Saha is a very valuable benefactor of the ICWA. Our children and young people are often in need of the benefits which Government offers them. But being who they are, the clerks in the offices concerned either ignore them or batter them about. But they have a godfather in Mr Saha. One phone call to him from them and another from him to the clerks, settles the matter.

Another very special guest and friend was the Vice Chancellor of Patna University, Dr. Sudipto Adhikari, who very kindly graced our function with his presence, despite his heavy schedule of work..

The other guests were also very precious - friends and supporters, whose genuine interest in our work, help and encourage us immensely; college ex-students who came from far and near, just because they had been part of our lives and our hearts and had helped with our work in various ways all along ; other ongoing supporters, like the nursing personnel of Holy Family Hospital, our co-workers in the Special (Remand) Homes; doctors who treat our children and older people free of cost, sometimes even at great cost to themselves. Dr. Satyajit Sinha, for instance, performed, free of cost, an eye operation that cost Rs. 30,000/- . His reward is that the outstandingly clever girl can see to continue her studies, and can even dance without the embarrassment of a discoloured eye, hitherto a block to her personality .

Announcement of the Corpus:

A cherished dream was realized on the day when the corpus was announced. The first contribution of Rs. 50,000/- had come in 2003 from Ms. Rashmi Verma and her friends in the U.S.A. in memory of Priyadarshini Verma, mother of Rashmi Verma.

The second contribution of Rs.4,60,000/- has come in 2011 from late Mrs. Maria Pinto (Sister Carol’s sister) of U.K who left the amount in her will for the purpose.

Grand Finale:

The final item the Grand Finale was truly impressive and a splendid reflection of our togetherness. The ICWA anthem played and to its words all came together on the stage - one group after another– the students, the literacy children, the school children, the alumni, the slum women and finally the core members. It was dignified as well as colourful- a beautifully woven pattern showing cooperation, collaboration and support.