St Bede’s In Himachal Wont Be Allowed To Die – Ex-Bedians

Shimla: “We won’t allow it” is what most ex-Bedian’s reacted to reports about their alma mater considering shutting down because of a teething financial crisis.

An SMS message about providing financial assistance to keep the college up and going is doing the rounds among former students of St Bede’s.St Bede's college

“Nobody would want St Bede’s to shut down,” says Daisy Thakur, a former student and a councilor in Parwanoo Municipal Corporation. “The institution is synonymous with Shimla.” Thakur mentioned having received an SMS from former Bedian’s about the financial problems their alma mater was going through.

To provide affordable education for girls, the institute has been getting grants since British days. After Independence, a central government agency under inspector of Anglo-Indian Schools was responsible for handing out grants to the institution.

The college records showed that the issue of grants for running St Bede’s was taken up as a Lok Sabha question in 1962. An amount of Rs 2940 was shown to have been handed out.

Till 1970, the college was affiliated with Punjab University but after Himachal attained statehood in 1971 and a new university came up, it got attached to HPU as a grant-in-aid college.

The state government started tightening grants for private colleges in August 2002 and froze it at Rs 7.10 crores for all colleges. For Bede’s, against an expenditure of Rs 1.53 crore for 2007-08, the government released an amount of Rs 1.18 crore in May 2008. Now that the government has laid out rules for disbursing grants equitably among other private colleges also, a resource crunch threatens the foundations of the institution.

However, a section of students at St Bede’s were not too happy the way the college was being run. “All is not it well with the management,” said a student not wanting to be identified, “the college was better managed last year than what it is today.” A new principal took over, last May.St Bede's

“Facilities in the college are going down,” says the young Bedian, “last year there was more activity on the campus.”

The alumni include former bureaucrat Usha Vohra, wife of NN Vohra who is the governor of Jammu and Kashmir parliamentarian Parneet Kaur, wife of Capt. Amaninder Singh, the former chief minister of Punjab and famous columnist Talveen Singh.

With market forces exerting pressure on most academic institutions, for a college that started with a batch of 15 students in 1904 and withstood such difficult periods as the two world wars of 20th century, going down under at a time when a resurgent Indian economy is pushing for setting up more institutions of excellence, it would be a tragic should one allow St Bede’s to die.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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13 Comments

  1. says: Neelam Bali

    I am an ex Bedeian and presently teachihng at Bedes-It sure is unfortunate that the govt. with its narrow vision cannot appreciate the worth of an institute like Bedes.Bedes caters to both quantity and quality.It is famous for its steadfastness to the cause of women education and building individuals who are assets to contemporary society.I ask all like minded people should such an institution be allowed to fade away?NO.We will certainly keep it going and take it to greater glory.
    Thank you.

    1. says: shalini batta

      Hello Mam,

      Request you to pls reach me at my email address at its earliest at [email protected]

      Looking forward for your response. We all are working together in bringing solidarity amongst all the bedians and work collectively on bringing recognition that our institution deserves.

      Shalini

  2. says: Neha Chandok

    St. Bedes indeed is synonymous with Shimla. It is a legacy that goes on and hasn’t remained static rather has only improved with time and let people access education.

    The institution shouldn’t be allowed to shut down and wither away…

  3. says: timmy bhalla grover

    St bedes college forever is the group that Ihave started in the face book where I am hoping as many as possible bedians from the past and present join and discuss the possibilities of stopping this threat of closing institute once and for all.

    Memories of bedes are etched in our minds and we shd make sure that they dont remain just that.

    St bedes college forever.

  4. says: sheel vardhan

    Let us the like minded make out a point wise case and meet the govt and explain the same as first step to ensure that St Bede’s continues to serve the cause of quality education and empowerment of women.
    sheel

  5. I am an ex-Bedian (Class of 1984) currently residing in the US
    I was deeply saddened to learn of the current position of our prestigious ALMA MATER. – and I share my mutual sentiments on behalf of many ex-bedian’s, that are currently residing in the US. The news of the possibility of the college shutting down, came to us, as a real shock – it just seems absolutely unforgiving to even think about putting a hallmark of an institution like St. Bede’s College, under such dire status. Has it come to this, that the H.P. government has no need to support a historical treasure of it’s state ? Wherin, the plight of the halls of knowledge of Bede’s is being put up for a bargain, with not much of a choice to – 1. Either make do with the funds currently being provided for OR 2. Simply just close the door’s of this celebrated historical legacy of Himachal Pradesh?

    Where is the voice of ‘REASON’ in all this, we ask? Well – Samuel Butler, once rightly stated – The public does not know enough to be experts, YET they know enough to decide between them. We all are doing, what it takes, to keep the banner of our loving St. Bede’s College flying high.. Hence, with a banded singleness, of one collected voice, it is HOPE and FAITH that is the driving force behind our belief – St. Bede’s College will stand proud and memorable, for yet another 100 years!

  6. says: Yamini Kapil

    Hello everybody..i was in bede’s from 2003-’06..
    It is indeed very sad to know that St.bede’s is closing down!..How can that be possible, it is one of the country’s oldest best girls college’s. I personally had excellent memories here which i will always cherish throughout my life, it has taught me everything from being a young girl to a fine lady and now that i am working in Canada, feel so sad to hear about bede’s..

    I have a very special request to make, please don’t let St.bede’s close down..it will very sad for all current bedians and ex-bedians!..

    Thanks,
    Yamini.

  7. Hi everyone! passed out in 1999 and was there for good five yrs
    Bedes has given me so much
    it is so sad to hear about NO funds and govt is not ready to repay
    i feel we bedians should get together and hold a massive rally infront of CM’s House and should not move till he doesn’t give funds.
    Central Govt should also play the role.
    I’m proud to be a BEDIAN.
    thanks
    Preeti

  8. says: Margaret Singh Punj

    When I first heard the news what came to mind was…..this is yet again another example where it is proved of how well the girls and ladies are given there place in the indian democracy!And even if people don’t agree with that view of mine then what about keeping history alive???What about Women education??Women empowerment??It’s so depressing to even picture St. Bede’s closing down. I know giving advice and doing are two different things. But I am all for saving Bede’s. The college that not only educated me…but gave me values for life..

    Please Please PLease dont let St. Bede’s be left for history pages..

    With Regards
    and Prayers(for Bede’s)

    Margaret Singh Punj

  9. says: Shalini Gupta Mittal

    Girl brought in Shimla has a dream to be a Bedian on day. So did I, which got fulfilled when I joined it in 1992 for plus one and so on.. It is very disheartening to know that the govt want to compare this Royal Heritage College with all the other colleges and cut down the grant to same amount.
    It is pride for all the educational institutes in the State and even for the entire Northern Region. If this is allowed to die like this, then these new colleges can imagine what will be their future. Thus I feel even all other newly joined institutes should stand up for Bede’s.

    Hope to hear a good News soon….

    Wishing for the best – Shalini

  10. says: Manish Desai

    I have a very good friend studied in st. Bede’s college during 1997 to 2004. Her name is Poonam Patial if any body know her contact me on following details.
    M : 09879518031
    E mail : [email protected]

  11. says: sneha

    hi my name is sneha.. i m looking for a frnd , her name is mannat sachdeva. if anybody knows her contact no.. plz.. help me

  12. says: Renu vij

    Hi,my name is Renu vij, am looking for a friend sarita law, who studied in St. Bedes college from 1980-1985 .please contact me on my no 9818304149

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