Nirmala Prasad, former principal of one of Chennai’s most prominent institutions for women, MOP Vaishnav College for Women, passed away on Thursday morning from a heart attack. The college declared a holiday for students as a sign of respect to her and will be holding a prayer meeting on Friday, to condole her death.
The 69-year-old educationist spent 40 years of her professional life in various colleges in the city and has been credited with building MOP Vaishnav into the brand it is today. In an interview to The Hindu in 2013, when she retired as principal of the college, she recalled how she obtained both her B Com and M Com degrees through correspondence as colleges in Tamil Nadu did not offer Commerce degrees to female students. She had thus never really stepped into a college for her own education but was responsible for educating thousands of women in the state.
Nirmala worked at Ethiraj College for 21 years. It was in 1997 that she joined MOP as principal. In the 16-year stint that followed, she is credited with introducing a holistic curriculum in the college – from developing an entrepreneurship cell to introducing a finishing school course.
The entrepreneurship cell aimed at making women independent entrepreneurs who could be self-employed and create jobs for others. The principal often said that this will ensure financial independence for women even if societal pressure forces them to work from home.
Nirmala was also a Syndicate member of the University of Madras for three terms and a member of the University Grants Commission.
Source: The News Minute