Mathru Mandali: Established by women, for women

Mathru Mandali: Established by women, for women

Mathru Mandali Institutions on Valmiki Road, Vontikoppal, Mysuru. dh photo

Established by women and for women, Mathru Mandali institutions have stood the test of time since 85 years. Even though the schools are co-education institutions, its PU college is a purely girls’ institution.

Vijayalakshmi Urs, president of Mathru Mandali, said that the institution, as a Mahila Samaja, was started in 1935, by stalwarts like Yashodaramma Dasappa, K S Nagarathnamma, Kameshwaramma Kuppuswamy, Devaki B Singh and Soundaryamma Venkatesh. It has to be recalled that Yashodaramma was state minister, while Nagarathnamma was both minister and Speaker of Legislative Assembly.

Women empowerment

Vijayalakshmi Urs said, “The Mahila Samaja was established with an intention to empower women, mainly from Vontikoppal and Paduvarahalli villages. Mathru Mandali was and is situated at the junction of both the villages. With the formation of VV Mohalla, both villages merged with Mysuru city.”

Initially, vocational training for women was conducted in tailoring, spinning of khadi, weaving of floor mats, printing, juice making, etc. Music and dance classes were part of Mathru Mandali’s activities. Training in tailoring and fashion designing are still flagship programmes of Mathru Mandali.


Vijayalakshmi Urs said, “Mathru Mandali started a creche to help working mothers and also for the welfare of toddlers. The Mandali graduated to starting a school in 1939. Now, we have up to PUC, in Arts and Commerce.”

“Earlier, we used to have up to 2,500 students a year. Now, the number of students has come down, due to the establishment of new schools in the vicinity — both government and private schools. Since a few years, we are admitting boys to high school also. Earlier, boys were allowed only up to seventh standard,” she said.

Prominent among the alumni of the Mathru Mandali institutions are writer Poornachandra Tejaswi and banker S B Ravi Shankar. Tejaswi was the son of poet Kuvempu (K V Puttappa) and Ravi Shankar is the son of writer S L Bhyrappa. Other prominent alumni are wildlife photographer Senani Hegde, entrepreneur V G Siddhartha and DySP Jaimaruthi.

Joint secretary of Mathru Mandali Vani Prasad said that most of the students in the institutions are from financially backward families. “Most of the students are first generation literates. Some of the parents are not in a position to even pay the annual fee. Sometimes, our institution staff seek the support of donors and charity organisations to support their education,” she said.

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