Bon Secours College For Women: An Institution Promoting & Supporting The Academic Aspirations Of Underprivileged & Impoverished Women Professionals

By K. Kathiroli, Head of the Department
Bon Secours College For Women: An Institution Promoting & Supporting The Academic Aspirations Of Underprivileged & Impoverished Women Professionals
K. Kathiroli,Head of the Department

K. Kathiroli

Head of the Department

Former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru stated, "If you educate a man, you educate an individual; however, if you educate a woman, you educate a whole family". The empowerment of women rep-resents the development of India as a whole. An educated woman has the potential to bring about significant changes in society. However, in India's rural setting, women still confront several societal difficulties such as gender discrimination, underage marriage, the dowry system, and domestic abuse. Women, living in rural regions of India face different societal obstacles. Hence, education for women is essential in rural parts so that a wide range of societal issues may be resolved and so that more possibilities can be created for women. To address the same concern Bon Secours College for Women was established to empower young rural women as better citizens of the World.

The Franciscan Sisters, who are members of a religious community, are instrumental in the establishment of Bon Secours College for Women with the motto, "To Empower, To Change, To Live". This institution was founded to elevate oppressed women, particularly rural women. This Congregation has been active in the area of education for the last 164 years, and its overarching goal is to encourage and empower rural women so that they may achieve success in their fields. In the year 2002, Bon Secours College for Women embarked on the long and arduous path of reaching out to women who live in rural and impoverished areas. The college started its long journey of reaching out to the poor and rural young women in the year 2002 with a meagre strength of 50 students. Now the college has grown in leaps and bounds with a total strength of the 4,286 students.

The College, affiliated with Bharathidasan University is recognized by UGC under 2(f) and 12(B) of the UGC Act 1956 and is accredited with an `A++' Grade in Cycle II (CGPA 3.71) by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), an autonomous body of the UGC. Bon Secours College is the only college in Thanjavur that has achieved this credit. The College has been ranked by NIRF in the 151 ­ 200 Band and secured the first rank in the Best money value category for Fashion Technology by India Today ranking for the year 2022. The College is recognized as the potential Mentor for NAAC aspiring institutions under the UGC scheme of Paramarsh scheme.

It is actively participating in Institutions’ Innovation Council (IIC), Ministry of Education, Government of India for fostering the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among students and teachers with technical and non technical interventions.
As a participating institution in Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0, Ministry of Human Resource Management, New Delhi and Mahatma Gandhi National Council of Rural Education (MGNCRE) extend services re-lated to swachh bharat, basic amenities, waste management, agriculture, education and promotion of entrepreneurship in adopted villages. The College received the One District One Champion award by Mahatma Gandhi National Council of Rural Education under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India in 2020. The College offers 18 UG, 12 PG, 5 M.Phil., and 4 Ph.D. Programs. There are 7 Diploma Programmes and 191+ Certificate Courses, comprising add-on, Value Added and Vocational Courses.

With a focus on empowering women from rural areas, Bon Secours College for Women provides its students with the tools they need to succeed academically, as well as in their personal and professional lives. As a result of this foresight and concern, Bon Secours College for Women's Department of Fashion Technology was established in 2003. The Fashion Technology department at Bon Secours College for Women has expanded to provide three unique degrees to interested students.

The first is a Bachelor of Science in fashion technology and costume design, followed by a Master of Science in fashion technology in costume design and a diploma in fashion technology. Furthermore, women interested in developing their entrepreneurial and creative potential may enroll in a value-added certificate course at Bon Secours College for Women. The Fashion Technology program's ultimate goal is to produce original works by its students, with a focus on achieving professional excellence in the fields of design, fashion, and business through the provision of a leadingedge educational environment.

Infrastructural & Modern-Day Facilities Provided
Laboratory spaces for Fashion Design at Bon Secours College for Women are fully furnished. Explaining more about the available resources, K.Kathiroli, the Head of the Department for Fashion Technology & Costume Designing says, "The institution has well equipped dedicated fashion illustration lab, pattern making lab, and industrial selling lab for its first-year fashion design students since they require it so early in their studies.

The institution offers a computer lab for computer-aided design as well as a wet processing laboratory for dyeing, printing, and light painting. Adobe Illustrator is used for both pattern making and fashion design at Bon Secours College for Women, which is one of the many reasons why the college has its specialized software for computer-aided design. In addition to these three programs, the computer lab at Bon Secours College for Women also has Corel Draw and Photoshop, which are used by costume designers and those participating in the college's computer-aided design workshop to come up with novel ideas.
Bon Secours College for Women also has an Incubation Center to assist students market their creations to the general public and two separate laboratories where students may test the fibers and fabrics".

Bon- Students Support Services (Bon-SSS)
Bon Secours College for Women came across many hurdles in the realization of its goal to educate its women learners and empower them. Most of the students are from labour class and higher education remains only as their dream. The families could not think of higher education, when their survival itself is a challenge. The Management, with a strong commitment to live up to its vision and decided to tap all re-sources to fulfill the educational needs of the poor and needy students and ensures that financial constraints should never be a hindrance to education.

Hence, the college introduces an exercise, the best practice called Students Support Services (SSS) and offers a variety of generous scholarship opportunities for deserved students. The first is the management scholarship, which is awarded by the college administration to deserving students depending on their family's financial situation.

In addition, Bon Secours College for Women offers three distinct programs, one of which is called SAFE (Student Assistance Funds for Education) and is funded by the voluntary contributions of students from affluent backgrounds. Also 10% fee concession for the alumni is offered to get admitted in higher studies in Bon Secours in addition to exemption from admission fees.

Additionally, the institution will take in any orphaned child as Bon Child and provide them with free education. A student who is a semi-orphan will have half of their fees waived. I CAN, MANNA and Earn while learn programmes organized by the students themselves to help their own needy fellow students. These programmes bear witness to the fact that Bon Secours College is keen on educating the minds of the students as well as their hearts.

Thus the signature of Bon Secours College, gives rebirth to the students and transforms them into women of moral attributes, self disciplined, good leaders, and responsible citizens as the integral part of their personal and professional life to reach altitude.

K. Kathiroli, Head of the Department ,Fashion Technology & Costume Designing, Bon Secours College for Women
Kathiroli has 16 years of experience in the academic domain. Kathiroli has published various papers based on the fashion technology sector under UGC-approved journals and has worked with various fashion shows as a research professional. Kathiroli is also a Member of Board of Studies, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, Internal Quality Assurance Cell and Coordinator of the Institution's Innovation Cell of Bon Secours College for Women, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.
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