Mangaluru, Jan 16, 2019: Besant Education Institution, established by Dr Annie Besant in Kodialbail in Mangaluru in 1918, completes 100 years in 2019.
The Besant Group of Institutions run by Women’s National Education Society (WNES), today includes Besant English School, Besant National PU College, Besant Women’s College, Besant Evening College, Manel Srinivas Nayak Memorial (MSNM) Besant Institute of PG studies, Besant Higher Primary School and Besant National High School.
Humble beginnings : Theosophical Society Founder President Dr Annie Besant laid the foundation for Besant Girls School on June 17, 1918, with a vision to provide school education to girls. In the initial days, classes were conducted in the ancestral house of freedom fighter Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya in Mangaluru.
The school received recognition from government in 1928. In the following year, it was upgraded to a higher primary school. In 1938, the school was named as Besant National Girls School.
Besant Junior College was established in the year 1972. Educationist Manel Srinivas Nayak pioneered various development works in the institution in 1976.
Jnanapith laureate K Shivaram Karanth trained students in Yakshagana, drama and dance. The institution was opened to boys in 2014.
Valedictory : WNES secretary and centenary celebrations committee chairman K Devananda Pai told media at Besant College on janusry 14, Monday, that the valedictory of centenary celebrations would be organised at T M A Pai Convention Centre, M G Road, Kodialbail, on January 18 and 19.
The formal function on January 18 will be inaugurated by Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari D Veerendra Heggade, at 3 pm. Mangalore University vice chancellor in-charge Prof Ishwara P will release the souvenir. NMPT chairman Krishna Babu will be the guest. WNES president Kudpi Jagadish Shenoy will preside.
Alumni of the school, powerlifters Supreetha Poojary and Devdas will be felicitated on the occasion. On January 19, Coffeelab, Bengaluru president Sunalini N Menon and Tata Sons, Mumbai Group chief digital officer Aarathi Subramanian will speak on women empowerment, at a programme at 10 am. SNDT women’s university, Mumbai former vice chancellor Prof Rupa Shah will preside.
Institution alumni Olympic athlete Vandana Rao, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr Malathi Hegde and writer Lalitha Rai will be felicitated on the occasion. The centenary celebrations were launched on October 1, 2017 to coincide with the birthday of its Founder Dr Annie Besant, he said.
WNES president Kudpi Jagadish Shenoy, Besant English medium school correspondent Sathish Kumar Bhat, Centenary committee member Sathish Kumar Shetty and Academic advisor Lalitha G Mallya were present at the press meet.
Note that ’Mangalore Today’ brought out a magazine special on the ’Beasant Instituitons’ in December 2018.