History Of College
Sree Ayyappa College for Women was originally started as a Men’s College in the year 1969 by Sree Ayyappa Educational Society, comprising some prominent members of the local Malayalam – speaking community in Kanyakumari District. Since 1956, after the southern most part of the erstwhile Travancore merged with Tamil Nadu, the Malayalam- speaking inhabitants of Kanyakumari District had been feeling a sense of alienation from the mainstream. In their concerted effort to sustain themselves in the soil of their birth, they felt the need for an educational institution for themselves. In 1969 this desire bore fruit. The college started functioning with Mr. Madhavan Nair as the Principal and eight staff members working under him.
The metamorphosis of the institution into a Women’s college in the very next academic year was not incidental. It was the outcome of rational thinking on the part of the Management. Chunkankadai, the tiny hamlet in which the college is situated, possessed few facilities for higher education to the younger generation. This disadvantage mostly affected the girls in the village. The villagers, being conservative and unsophisticated, were not inclined to send their daughters to the distant town to pursue their studies. As a result, the girls were deprived of the benefit of higher education. Having nothing to stimulate their potentials, they lived a pedestrian life. At this juncture, the conversion of the institution into a Women’s College seemed an ideal proposition. Accordingly, the Management, with the permission of Madurai University, to which the college had been affiliated, converted the Men’s College into a Women’s College in the beginning of the next academic year (1970-71). Thus was born Sree Ayyappa College for Women. In 1991 Madurai University, which had been renamed as Madurai Kamaraj University, was bifurcated and the college got affiliated to Manonmaniam Sundaranar University.
On this occasion it seems appropriate to remember the names of some stalwarts of the local Nair Community who rendered selfless service to the college. With patience, persistence and perseverance they guided the institution through its teething problems. Their names are indelibly imprinted in the annals of the college. We gratefully acknowledge late. Advocate. K. P. Narayanan Nair, who had been the Vice-President of the Managing Committee from the day of its inception till he passed away in October 1999 and late P. D. Pillai who had been a benefactor of the college through out.
The daring steps taken by the management in 1969 paved the way for the overall development of the entire village. The college stood as a beacon radiating brilliance to its surroundings, craving for progress. It inspired many socially committed persons to come forward and open their own educational institutions. In the long run, Chunkankadai became an inextricable part of the Nagercoil town with many educational institutions, hospitals, banks and computer centres in its kitty. Right now, our institution stands as the lodestar of all the developments achieved by the village in subsequent years. It is also a matter of delight to us that our college stands on par with any other well- run establishment in the district.
The college started with Pre – university course. Most of the students hailed from rural set up – economically constrained, socially remote and educationally backward surroundings. Naturally it was an uphill task for the teachers to enlighten them. They had to prevail against many odds in the initial stage. The moral support extended by the first Principal Mrs. Subhadra Menon is worth remembering. She galvanized the teachers to do more than what they could and they had to overstretch themselves to produce good results. During her tenure as the Head of the institution, seven undergraduate courses and one postgraduate course were introduced in the college. They are – B.A. History (English & Tamil Medium), B.A. English Literature, B. Sc. Mathematics, B. Sc. Zoology, B.Sc. Botany, B.Sc. Physics, B. Com. and M.A. English.
The year 1987 was a milestone in the annals of our college. It was in this year that, the college gained the minority status on linguistic basis which facilitated the reservation of 50% seats for the Malayalam – speaking minority.