June 5, 2009 3:31:54 am
For Gauri Deshmukh who topped the Pune division in Class XII (HSC) exams on Thursday,it was also the completion of a cycle encompassing three generations of students at Mahilashram Junior College run by Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha,established exactly 100 years ago by Maharshi Karve the pioneer of womens education in the country. Gauris mother Dr Anurekha Deshmukh has been working as a medical officer in the institute for the past three years while her grandmother Sindhutai Atre is a former student who had completed the teachers training course in the 1940s when womens education was a taboo.
Even after securing 90 per cent in Class X,Gauri had chosen Mahilashram Junior College instead of famous colleges in the city like Fergusson or S P College where she would have been easily accommodated. I had decided to study in the institute that played a great role in the history of womens education in the country. Moreover,my grandmother studied here and my mother is,in spite of being a successful doctor,devoting her services to the institute, said Gauri.
When Gauri came to know about the result around 10.45 am,she was with her 82-year-old grandmother at her uncles house. I had expected 90 per cent marks,but securing 95.5 per cent and becoming the topper in Pune was unexpected, said Gauri,who wants to become an engineer and do research. Gauri is also fond of music and wants to learn sitar. She gave the credit for her success to her uncle,aunty and sister Revati besides her father,mother and grandmother.
Sindhutai is ecstatic at her granddaughters success. I am feeling very proud that my grandchild was educated in Annas (Maharshi Karve) institute.
It was a very special day for Sindhutai as she has seen Karve and even cooked food for him. I give credit to my husband who after our marriage in 1943 allowed me to study further. I was in Karve Institute from 1946 to 1951. I used to cook in the kitchen of the institute and study,too. I completed the teachers training course at the institute and as a teacher worked for almost 35 years in various places,mostly in rural areas, she said.
Dr Anurekha was a practising paediatrician in Mumbai a job that she left to join Karve Institute as a medical officer. The rationale was simple she felt it was her duty to give back to the institute that has done so much for womens education. Gauris father Arvind is an engineer and is heading the Jaipur facility of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.
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