Vanita Vishram, the largest only-for-girls, non-profit and no-donation organization in the state of Gujarat, through its 14 constituent institutions including Sheth P.T. Mahila College of Arts and Home Science has been striving hard to transpire the vision of its two widow founders into a lived reality by educating more than 12,000 girl students in its campus. As a girls-only institution, Sheth P.T. Mahila College of Arts and Home Science, like its parent body Vanita Vishram, is indefatigably focused on the thrust area of WOMEN EMPOWERMENT. The Vision, Mission and Motto statements amply reflect this commitment of institution which characterizes the institution as a whole and lends distinctiveness to it. The college has undoubtedly translated the dream of its visionary founders into a reality in its four decades of existence.
Since its inception in 1972, the college has made attempts to introduce courses which promote women empowerment in a true sense. After making a humble beginning with the Arts Faculty, it introduced courses in Home Science which not only gave an edge to our college over others but also opened up an entire gamut of possibilities as far as making career in Home Science is concerned. At least, there are four courses/specializations in Home Science which are distinctive and purely women-oriented. They are:
- B. Sc. in General Home Science
- B.Sc. in Food Science and Nutrition
- B.Sc. in Human Development
- B.Sc. in Apparel Design
- P.G. Diploma in Dietetics
No other college of Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, Surat offers the above-mentioned courses and that too with Bachelor of Science (B. Sc.) Degree. With great pride, we can claim that some of the practicing dieticians and pre-school teachers working in South Gujarat region have graduated from our college.
Likewise, in the recent past, the college has introduced two courses in Arts Faculty (Psychology as specialization & History as Subsidiary in English Medium) that are not offered by any other college of Veer Narmad South Gujarat University. Since the origin of these disciplines, both History and Psychology have remained male-oriented and male-dominated subjects of study. Hardly ever we come across a woman historian or a psychologist. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that in the years to come, the college would be known as a pioneering institution as far as producing women historians and psychologists are concerned, which is actually the need of the hour in the entire state of Gujarat.
The college has been running vocation-based, short-term, value-added, certificate courses like Fashion Designing, Interior Design, Event Management etc. for quite some time now. From the academic year 2019-2020, the college has also launched three Diploma programmes under Bachelor of Vocation (B. Voc.) degree. They are:
- Fashion Designing
- Interior Design
- Event Management
All these courses are industry-based, job-oriented and are offered at highly affordable fees. The ultimate goal is to make the girl students job-ready and open up new avenues of knowledge, skills and work experience.
Since long, the college has institutionalized the promotion of meritorious and performance-oriented students through scholarships and cash prizes as well as lending a helping hand to economically disadvantaged students by offering free-ships. With the sole objective of women empowerment, the college, with the help of its parent institution, disbursed a substantial amount as scholarships, cash prizes and free-ships.
Our college is one of those few colleges of South Gujarat, which organizes Annual Function on regular basis. Every year, more than 100 girl students participate in various items performed in front of house-packed audience, and thereby showcase their latent talent, skills, imagination and creativity. It not only boosts the morale of the said students but also play a pivotal role in enhancing their personality. Often the theme of these Annual Functions touches upon issues related to and affecting women. An attempt is always made to bring about an attitudinal change in the parents of our girl students and thereby in the entire society leading to women empowerment in a true sense.
The celebration of ‘Breast-feeding and Nutrition Week’ as part of Food Science and Nutrition departmental activity, is a regular and distinctive activity observed in our college since long. An attempt is made to bring awareness in the girl students regarding malnutrition, balanced diet and pre-natal and postnatal care. Likewise, as part of General Home Science departmental activity, an ‘Exhibition-cum-Sale’ is organized almost every year so that the girl students get an opportunity not only to demonstrate but also sell their hand-made products. Similarly, as part of Human Development departmental activity, ‘Bal Mela’ is organized every year wherein various pedagogical tools and techniques are kept on display for parents, school teachers and tiny tots. No wonder, our girl students participate in this exciting and unique activity and thereby acquire much-needed knowledge, skills and hands-on training to become pre-school teachers. An educated mother with a comprehensive understanding of child development can brings out a perennial societal change in favour of gender-equal society.
For the promotion of research projects amongst faculties, the Management has formed a Research Committee which not only weighs the research proposals but also provide financial aid from the seed money earmarked by the parent institution. This gives a rare and distinctive opportunity to women teachers to apply for research grants from Vanita Vishram without bothering much about the funding agencies. This Research Committee also includes the In-charge Principal of Sheth P.T. Mahila College of Arts and Home Science as one of its members. The development of research aptitude amongst faculty members, especially females, through such an initiative, is a rare feat and a commendable achievement in terms of women empowerment.
The college, with its never-ending support, guidance and co-operation of parent institute Vanita Vishram, will unremittingly keep on pursuing the ultimate objective of women empowerment through new and distinctive modes.