Our Glourious History
Our grand heritage is our legacy; inherited from the resplendent past; our ritual, tenue and observance in the present; a way of life carefully guarded to be bequeathed to our custodians in the future. With innumerous choices of institutions in higher education, the greater onus falls upon the historic institutions, the very firsts of India’s pedagogical annals – those which have unrelentingly stood the test of time for more than a century. Through their unremitting will for the preservation of heritage, the chaos of the modern day teaching has found concord and altruism in the value based education being guarded by them. With a priceless inheritance of 84 years, Dev Samaj College for Women, Ferozepur City, established in 1934, has the proud distinction of being the first educational institution for the women of Ferozepur District. It is one of the earliest attempts to give a concrete expression to women education and empowerment. Since its inception, it has shaped the destiny of the Nation, the society and women through incredible contributions that were not only confined to the sphere of higher education but also encompassed the moral, social and cultural fabric of our Nation.
DSCW has been the sovereign shrine of women emancipation. Its history is like a sacred pilgrimage to the past. It is simply not the bricks and stones laid in to form a functional structural unit, rather each of its bricks has bathed in the sweat and blood of the myriad reformers who have, in countless ways contributed their part of self and soul to infuse life into this living temple of education. The very atmosphere of the college breathes out the spirit of sacrifice, devotion and value based education.
Founded in 1934 by Dev Samaj Society, the crusader of women education, DSCW is an institution which was started as a result of the renaissance that India witnessed towards the end of the 19th century. A glimpse at its glorious past takes us more than eighty-three years back. Those were the times when degeneration had become the plague of the society. During the British rule, the country was still reeling under the burden of an orthodox and retrogressive society. Women were the soft targets of infinite atrocities of the wheedling ritualistic societies which gave a way to contrived conventions like Sati Pratha, Child Marriages, Purdah System etc. Education for women was totally tabooed. The emancipated and educated women fully vanished away under the shroud of pseudo-social values and baseless norms.
The zealous missionary, Bhagwan Dev Atma, The Founder of Dev Samaj, was the one who emerged as a hero for a cause. Like a whirlwind, he through his hypnotic aura and aeonian efforts brought about a mutation in the predicament of the conservative society and strove to lend women their dignity, respect and status. A great idealist, visionary and reformer, Bhagwan Dev Atma verily believed that education of women alone could cure the malaise of the sick society and help in building a utopian state. He took up the cause of the hapless and illiterate women relegated mercilessly to the confines of their low self esteem and societal pressures. He toiled hard to bestir the steadfast society into educating women, making them self-reliant and independent. To achieve this end, he established the first exclusive institutions for girls in Lahore in 1886 the first women institution at Ferozepur in 1901. In continuation to that, Dev Samaj Society opened 22 educational institutions in the Northern India only to promote women education. Today, thousands of women are being empowered every year under the aegis of DSCW.
In preservation of its rich heritage and the promise of emancipation for women, the college has made its mark like no other. Forever in transition, from better to beyond the best, its journey is unending. From a modest beginning, Dev Samaj College has traversed a long way to evolve as an institution that has been discreet in every sense. The first of its kind institution has not ceased further the firsts’ tradition continuing it to produce numerous firsts to its credit. Outstanding and unparalleled meritorious achievements have since been entangled in the infinite loop of the institution. It is the oldest women college under Panjab University established in 1934. It has the privilege of producing the First Lady IAS officer, First Lady MBBS, First Lady Principal of Lady Irwin Medical College, New Delhi and First Hindu Lady B.A./B.T., in the divided and undivided Punjab. Mrs. Sarla Grewal, the First IAS lady also became the first Lady Deputy Commissioner of Shimla in 1956. In 1985, she got the honor to become the Principal Secretary of the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi and later on became the Governor of Madhya Pradesh. She was also associated with the important world forums like WHO and UNICEF. She was the First Woman President of the Tribune Trust (2000).
Thus, growing and prospering through this unending saga, the tiny sapling which was planted 84 years ago in the border area of Punjab, has now taken the shape of a dense tree.The capsule of the journey, under the stewardship of Dr. Madhu Prashar since her joining as a Principal in the year 1992, contains the essence of one century which needs volumes & volumes to write. The year 1992 brought in a turbulent surge that marked a rapid metamorphosis in the entire entity of DSCW. The campus was transformed beautifully. The infrastructure underwent a complete makeover with the introduction of a state of art building, gradually adding up fine amenities like comfortable and modern hostels, highly equipped labs matching global standards, smart classrooms, computerized complex, digital and computerized library, and so much more.
The introduction of new 15 courses at PG level, 17 courses at UG level, new UGC sponsored innovative courses, Add-on Courses, vocational and skill based courses ensured a curricular progress. Quality faculty of National and International repute further paved the way for the realization of concrete education for students that is rewarding in the sense so that it can complement the life of the students. Extra-curricular, co-curricular and sports activities have further enriched this experience by providing the students a platform to showcase their talent. It is worthy to mention here that under the patronage of Dr. Prashar, the students keep on organizing National/International Conferences, inviting scholars from WHO for exchange of the inter-disciplinary programmes, participating in the Asian Games, winning several gold medals in international Kabbadi World cup, becoming university colour holders, participating in the international cultural events (India and abroad), and getting the rarest opportunity to present the Guard of Honour to the President and the Prime Minister of India and so much more. Dr. Prashar has efficiently, over a period of time, organized for her students Campus placement drives in Government, Non-Government and Multinational Companies so that the practical aspect of implementation of education becoming a source of living, does not go unattended. DSCW has translated Prime Minister’s dream into reality by realizing the fact that the country could achieve a higher level of progress and advancement only by making the education system of the country more practical, pragmatic and, above all, by meeting the immediate demands of society and the industry as a whole.
It is said that the limitations should not be allowed to become weaknesses. A path that is difficult to tread can give and yield you if you have the will to carry you through. Even Thoreau, the great thinker once said, “Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.” DSCW has been nothing but that pure passion has fuelled its being. Despite the fact that it is situated at a highly volatile area of Ferozepur Hussainiwala Border which has been continuously under the threat from the hostile neighbouring country, it has never bothered to risk its all for a cause that is at the very root of its foundation. Quality education and emancipation of women was, is and will always be its burning motive – one towards which it has always most arduously delivered. The result is that where no one dares to risk a penny, DSCW has spent over these years of its service more than 90 crores on this educational haven.
DSCW is today India’s No.1 College 2013-14 with the exceptional CGPA of 3.75/4 granted by the prestigious National Assessment Council of India, Bangalore. University Grants Commission (U.G.C), Delhi has also conferred it with the celebrated status of “College of Excellence”. Apart from this, it has previously also been conferred with the status of “College with Potential for Excellence”, Five Star Science Department etc. Thus it has neither rested nor looked back. The ceaseless 26 years of leadership of Dr. Prashar have proved the major boom. The tenure is well comparable to nebulae (star nurseries) at work–creating stars across galaxies. The metamorphosis is humongous. With her dedicated efforts, DSCW, like Phoenix, has risen from its own ashes and blossomed into a magnificent temple of value based, world class education. But above all, this has always come with a promise, added and shared responsibility of the entire DSCW community – to never stop, to incessantly strive and to forever deliver – for there is nothing perfect, the parameters always fall short and have met with each time they raise their bar. That is what our history is and that is what comprises our heritage – excellence in all its glory!!