Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Jan 2:
Students and authorities of Sailabala Women’s College here are peeved at the Odisha government’s decision to give university status to Rama Devi Women’s College in Bhubaneswar ahead of it.
“Despite its 101-year old history and the pioneering role it has played in women’s education since the pre-independence era, Sailabala College always gets ignored. While Odisha government always delays facilitating infrastructure for our college, they didn’t even consider our request to make it a university. We believe this is because our college is in Cuttack instead of the capital city,” said Shrabani Swain, President of Students Union of the college.
General Secretary of the union Shradhanjali Panda added, “Government doesn’t take any step to fill up the vacancies for faculties in our college. Neither do we have enough hostels as required. This is a conspiracy against our college to ensure it doesn’t become a university.”
Students and faculty point out that Sailabala College is the first women’s college in Odisha and carries the legacy of Utkal Gourab Madhusudan Das, who dreamed of a separate Odisha state and his daughter Sailabala Das, the famous educationist.
Even in terms of infrastructure, Sailabala College, with four hostels, fares far better than Ramadevi College, which has just three, they argue.
While Sailabala College is 101 years old, Ramadevi College has a history of only 50 years. Both of these institutes have been rated ‘A’ by National Assessment and Accreditation Council.
No wonder students and faculty in the college and the denizens of Cuttack are convinced that it is part of the Naveen Patnaik government’s ‘conspiracy’ to deny the Millennium City its rightful place.