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Shrinking, yet growing much bigger

Mandira Nayar

NEW DELHI: Behind the imposing red sandstone Jama Masjid in the Walled City is Indraprastha Girls' Senior Secondary School -- a name that all women in the Capital should never forget. The first to open its doors to girls in 1904, at a time when education for women was far from being a priority, the school is a landmark for more reasons than one.

And shrinking to grow much bigger, the 102-year-old school will be featured on a commemorative postage stamp, which will be released on Saturday. Visionaries Lala Jugal Kishore, Lala Balkrishna Das and Lala Sultan Singh founded it.

The stamp is an acknowledgement of the difference the school made to the field of women's education. Chief Postmaster General, Delhi Circle, S. Samant, will release the stamp and the first day cover at a function. Kapila Vatsyayan, who graduated from the school, will preside over the function - a special sort of ceremony. Union Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal will be the chief guest at the function.

While Indraprastha Girls' Senior Secondary School was the first to teach girls from an Indian perspective, it has added another first to the list by being the first girls' school in Delhi to come in stamp "size". Indraprastha College is an offshoot of the school.

Apart from giving little girls their first exposure to the world outside their homes, the school also helped in bringing about change in mindsets.

Started much before Independence, the school survived the changes in history to continue to be relevant in modern times.

The school has also contributed towards challenging perceptions about women and removing orthodoxy as well as superstition.

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