Prabhamani Rao, B.A graduate, Mysore University, 1953

With friends Kamala Ramaswamy (writer), Champaka Malini (writer) and Hema (theatre artiste); I am second from left in this group.   "First Woman Graduate in the Bapu Family   "I am Prabhamani Rao who completed B.A and graduated from Mysore University (at that time there was no Bangalore University) in 1953. I was 19 and a... Continue Reading →

Vasantha S., B.A, Queen Mary’s College, Chennai, 1970

"I graduated from the Queen Mary's College, Mylapore, Chennai in the year 1970. My father's happiness was that he showed it by sending me a postal card putting the Degree after my name ! I did my Graduation after my marriage after my school finals. Thanks to my wonderful husband for his support. After me, my elder... Continue Reading →

Parvathy Mahadevan, B.A graduate, Queen Mary’s College, 1947

"Parvathy Mahadevan( nee KK Parvathy), was born on May 6th , 1927, In  Thrissur Kerala.  She is the 6th daughter among 7 of 9 siblings. She graduated in BA, Natural Science from the Queen Marys College for women in Chennai in the year 1947. She graduated in Karnatic Music from the College of Music, Chennai,... Continue Reading →

Dr. Naseema, M.Sc, Ph.D (Madras), M.Sc (London)/ (years unknown to us)

"I come from a very much educated family. Yes! my grandmother was a teacher herself in a school. My mother, my aunties and elder women cousins were all teachers because my grandmother was of the opinion that every woman should stand on her own legs (but only upto teacher training), and then work as teachers... Continue Reading →

Manjulika Mukherjee, BA graduate, Calcutta University, 1969

  "Manjulika Mukherjee was the first college graduate from my entire extended family combining my maternal and paternal side. She has been my inspiration since I was a child. "Mamoni" as I called her, was the first born child of my maternal grandfather, Late Sri Krishnadhan Mukherjee, who was an idealistic non-violent Gandhian freedom fighter and... Continue Reading →

Leela Pingle, graduate, Karve Vidyapeeth, Pune, 1935

  "The name of my mother before marriage when she passed her graduation in 1935, was Leela Pingle, Residence: Sangamner, Maharashtra. Her degree was called GA, i.e. Graduate in Arts, from Karve Vidyapeeth for Women in Pune. The photo was taken around the same time. After the degree she worked for two years as a teacher in... Continue Reading →

Kanakammal Ramaiya, graduate, Madras University, early 20th century

      "Mary Kanakammal Ramaiya was born in 1894 as the tenth child of Mr.Samuel Sargunar and Mrs.Gnanapoo Ammal in Conjeevaram. True to the genius of her father who was not only the first graduate from Tirunelveli district, also proficient in seven languages including Latin, Greek, French, Sanskrit and Hindusthani, Kanakammal completed her B.A.,... Continue Reading →

Dipti Tripathi, PhD, Calcutta University, 1940s

  "She graduated in 1944 and was the first graduate in our family. She did her Masters and earned the Doctorate degree from the Calcutta University.  She was a professor and became the principal of Bethune College which produced India's and the whole British Empire's first women graduates in 1883. She was a renowned classical  dancer too.... Continue Reading →

Belli Lakshmi Ramakrishnan, M.A graduate, Stella Maris, Madras, 1965

    "I am Belli Lakshmi Ramakrishnan. This is a photograph of me taken in 1980. I am the first women graduate, post-graduate and Tamil Nadu State level gazette officer from my family. I can also proudly claim to be the first woman Post Graduate and first woman Gazette officer from The Nilgiris District, and... Continue Reading →

Arati Banerjee, B.A graduate, Agra University, 1954

"Arati Banerjee ( 82 years;) Graduated in 1954. Agra University. BA in English/History/Sanskrit Sangeet Prabhakar from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad. BT ( Allahabad University) Arati Banerjee nee Mukherjee completed her graduation in 1954 from Agra University in English, Sanskrit and History. One among 14 children in a middle-class family, Ms Banerjee’s thirst for knowledge was probably... Continue Reading →

Manashi Guha, B.A, Dacca University, 1946

  "My grandmother on my mother’s side, Manashi Guha (nee Dasgupta), who we call Didu, was the first graduate in our family from Dacca University in 1946 with Philosophy and Mathematics. In the wake of the Partition, she came to Calcutta with her family and began working in an office of the Labour Department of... Continue Reading →

C. Amba Bai, B.A., Maharaja’s College, Mysore University, 1922

  Photo taken in 1901 C.Amba Bai, the First Woman Graduate in My Family "This is the story of my great-grand mother Chennagiri Amba Bai (1889-1970), married at 12 and widowed at the age of 24, with three young children to support. Amba Bai, affectionately called Ambi, was born into an orthodox Brahmin family in... Continue Reading →

Kaveri J., graduate, APC Mahalakshmi College for Women, Tuticorin, 1979-80

  "Kaveri J graduated from A.P.C Mahalakshmi College for Women, Tuticorin (Madurai Kamaraj University), with a B.Sc in Mathematics in 1979-80. When she was in School, Kaveri's parents had no plans of getting her educated further. Around this time, the A.P.C Mahalakshmi College for Women was started, and to get more enrollment in the area, the college authorities... Continue Reading →

Kamala Ramanujam, BA, Government College, Kumbakonam, 1946

"Our great grandmother, Kamala Ramanujam was the first graduate from our family.  She did her B.A Graduation from all men Government college at Kumbakonam (It was considered as Cambridge of South India).  A special permission was obtained to study in a college for men.  There was one more woman who studied with her. She graduated... Continue Reading →

G.K. Meenambal, graduate of the Lady Willingdon Institute (year unknown to us)

A certificate from the school that GK Meenambal spent many years at and retired from as Assistant Headmistress With her sister and brother-in-law   With her brother A group photo "Prajnya Trust's call for articles from readers of "The Hindu" regarding the first woman graduate in the family has evoked nostalgic thoughts of our Great Grand... Continue Reading →

Girija Jayanandan, graduate, PSGR Krishnammal College, Coimbatore, 1967

    Girija Jayanandan received a BA degree in English Literature, in April 1967, at the PSGR Krishnammal College, Coimbatore. "I was the first graduate in my family of ten children [three boys and seven girls of whom one brother and five sisters survived], and I was the ninth child who grew up smelling food... Continue Reading →

‘The First Graduate’ exhibit will be up soon!

We have received dozens of submissions, and photos continue to pour in at the time of writing this post. We are absolutely delighted and are grateful to all of you who spread the word and/or sent us photos. Please bear with us as we streamline contributions and ready them for online display. They will be... Continue Reading →

Dr. Dipti Tripathi, Calcutta University graduate, 1944

    "Dr. Dipti Tripathi graduated in 1944 and was the first graduate in our family. She did her Masters and earned a Doctorate degree from  Calcutta University.  She was a professor and became the principal of Bethune College which produced India's and the whole British Empire's first women graduates in 1883. She was a renowned classical  dancer... Continue Reading →

Dr. Vibhuti Patel in protests against gender violence

Dr. Vibhuti Patel, professor at SNDT university, is seen here participating with fellow activists in demonstrations against gender violence in Mumbai at the end of 2012. The occasion was a protest gathering of 18 women's rights organisations on 22nd December 2012, at the same spot where a young woman was slashed with a sickle by... Continue Reading →

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