Malankara World

Lighted to Lighten: The Hope of India

By Alice B. Van Doren



Prelude: Why go to College?

"Why should an Indian girl want a college education?" queried Mary Smith, as she listened to her roommate's account of the "Lighting of the Christmas Candles." "I can see why she would need to learn to read and write, and even a high school course I wouldn't mind; but college seems to me perfectly silly, and an awful waste of good money. Why, from our own home high school there are only six of us at college."

Mary Smith, fresh from "Main Street," may be less provincial than she sounds. Her question puts up a real problem. When only one girl in one hundred has a chance at the Three R's, is it right to "waste money" on giving certain others the chance to delve into psychology and higher mathematics? When there is not bread enough to go around, why should some of the family have cake and pudding?

Something less than a hundred years ago, similar questions were vexing the American public. Those were the days when Mary Lyon fought her winning battle against the champions of the slogan "The home is woman's sphere," the days in which the pioneers of women's education foregathered from the rocky farm slopes of New England, and Mt. Holyoke came into being. Mary Smith, who is duly born, baptized, vaccinated, and registered for Vassar, the last requiring no more volition on her part than the first, realizes little of the ancient struggle that has made her privilege a matter of course.

They are much the same old arguments that must be gone over again to justify college education for our sisters of the East. Rather say argument, in the singular, for there is just one that holds, and that is the possibilities for service that such education opens up.

High schools there must be in India, but who will teach them? American and English women have never yet gone out to India in such numbers as to staff the schools they have founded, nor would there be funds to support them if they did. Travel through India to-day and you will find girls' schools staffed either with under-qualified women teachers, or else with men whose academic qualifications are satisfactory, but who, being men, cannot fill the place where a woman is obviously needed. What could be more contradictory than to find a Christian girls' school, supported largely by American money, but staffed by Hindu men, just because no Christian women with necessary qualifications are available?

Hospitals there must be, but where are the doctors to conduct them? Here again, foreign doctors can fill the need of the merest fraction of India's suffering womankind. But the American doctor can multiply herself in just one way. Give her a Medical College, well equipped and staffed, and a body of Indian girls with a sufficient background of general education, and instead of one doctor and one hospital you will find countless centres of healing springing up in city and small town and along the roadside where the doctor passes by.

Leadership there must be among the women of the New India. Where will it be found but among those women whose powers of initiative have been developed by the four years of life in a Christian college? Church workers, pastors' wives, social workers, child welfare promoters, where can you find them in India? Here and there, scattered in unlikely places, where educated women, married and home-making, yet let their surplus energy flow out into neighborhood betterment.

Mothers of families there must be, and far be it from me to say that non-college women fail in that high office. There comes before me one mother of fourteen children who has never seen the inside of a college classroom, yet whom it would be hard to excel in her qualities of motherliness. But, other things being equal, it is to the Christian, educated mothers that we turn to find the life of the ideal home, with real comradeship between wife and husband, with intelligent understanding of the children, and the coveting for them of the best that education can give.

One other question Mary Smith may rightly ask. What about the men's colleges already existing? Will co-education not work in India?

To a certain limited extent it has. Rukkubai, with her too brief years of freedom, proved its possibility. Others there have been, pioneer souls, who pushed their way into lecture halls crowded with men, took notes in the dark and undesirable remnants of space allotted to them, and by dint of perseverance and hard work passed the examinations of the University and carried off the coveted degree.

They were courageous women, deserving admiration. They won knowledge, sometimes at heavy cost of health and nerve power. They helped to make women's education possible. But what of the fairer side of college life could they ever know? They were accepted always on sufferance; they never "belonged." One such pioneer was a friend of mine. In many walks and talks she told me of life in a men's college under the patronage of the Maharajah of a native state. Loyal to her college, and proud of the treasures of opportunity it had opened to her, she yet sighed for what she had missed. "When I see the life of the girls in the Women's Christian College at Madras," she said, "I feel that I have never been to college."

Three times the girls and women of America have reached out hands across the sea and either founded or helped to found Christian schools of higher education for the women of India, with the belief that they have a right to the knowledge of the spiritual truth which has brought to Christian women of America development in righteousness, freedom of faith, a personal knowledge of God through Jesus Christ, and the blessed hope of immortality.

Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow, 1886.

The Women's Christian College, Madras, 1915.

The Vellore Medical School, 1918.

These three names and dates are red-lettered in the history of international friendship, for through them the college women of America and India are joined into one fellowship of knowledge and service.


Lal Bagh.

A dusty journey of a night and almost a day brings you from Calcutta across the limitless Ganges plains to Lucknow, capital of the ancient kingdom of Oudh. Every tourist visits it, making a pious pilgrimage first to the Residency, where in the midst of green lawns and banyan trees the scarred ruins tell of the unforgettable Mutiny days of '57; and then to the nearby cemetery, where the dead sleep among the jasmines. Then, if his hours are wisely chosen, the traveler drives back to the town at sunset when palace towers and cupolas, mosque minarets and domes are silhouetted against the blazing west in an unrivalled skyline.

The tourist returns to the bazaars and in the midst of them, amid the dust and clatter of _ekkas_ and _tongas_, probably passes by a sight more interesting than Residency ruins and abandoned palaces--inasmuch as it deals with the living present rather than the dead past. It was in Lal Bagh, the Ruby Garden of hid treasure, that the Nawab Iq bal-ud-dowler, Lord Chamberlain to the first king of Oudh, hid, according to report, great caskets of silver rupees, with a huge ruby possessed of magic virtues, and left behind him a sheet of detailed directions for finding the treasure, with, alas, a postscript to explain that all the careful directions were quite wrong, being intended to mislead the would-be discoverer. It was again in Lal Bagh that Isabella Thoburn founded her school for Indian girls, and in 1886 opened the classes of the first women's college for India to possess residence accommodation and a staff of women teachers. The buried rupees and the magic ruby have never been unearthed; instead these years of Lal Bagh history have witnessed the discovery of richer treasure in the minds and hearts of young women, set free from age-long repressions and sent out to share their riches with a world in need.

You enter Lal Bagh's gates and find yourself before a stretch of dull red buildings whose wide-arched verandahs are built to keep out the fierce suns of May In November the sun has lost its terrors, and you rejoice in its warmth as it shines upon the gardens with their riot of color--yellow and white chrysanthemums, roses, and masses of flaming poinsettias, surely a fair setting for the girls who walk amid its changing loveliness.

Cosmopolitan Atmosphere.

As you leave the setting and for a few days merge yourself into the life that is going on within, there are a few outstanding impressions that fasten upon you and persistently mingle with Lal Bagh memories. Of these, perhaps, the foremost is the cosmopolitan atmosphere. Here you have on the one hand a group of American college women representing no one locality, no narrow section of American life, but drawn from east and west, north and south. On the other side, you see a body of nearly sixty Indian students whose homes range all the way from Ceylon to the Northwest frontier, from Singapore to Bombay.

What of the result? It is an atmosphere where East and West meet, not in conflict, but in a spirit of give and take, where each re-inforces the other. It is probably due to this friendly clash of ideas that the "typical" student at Isabella Thoburn strikes the observer as of no "type" at all, but a person whose ideas are her own and who has a gift for original thinking rare in one's experience of Indian girls. In the class forums that were held during my visit the most striking element was the difference of opinion, and its free expression.

Scholarship. Lal Bagh is no longer satisfied with the production of mere graduates. Her ambition is now reaching out to post-graduate study, made possible by the gift of an American fellowship. The first to receive this honor are two Indian members of the faculty, one of them Miss Thillayampalam, Professor of Biology, whose home is in far-off Ceylon at the other end of India's world. Henceforth, America may expect to find each year one member of the Lal Bagh family enrolled in some school of graduate work. Such work, however, is not to be confined to a scholarship in a foreign land, for this year the college enrolls Regina Thumboo, its first candidate for the degree of M.A. Her parents, originally from the South, emigrated from Madras to Singapore. There Regina was born, the youngest of five children. The father, a civil engineer in the employ of a local rajah was ambitious for his children, and, seeing in Regina a child of unusual promise, sent her first to a Singapore school, then on the long journey across to Calcutta and inland to Lucknow. At Lal Bagh she stands foremost in scholarship. When she has completed her M.A. in history and had her year of advanced work in some American university, she plans to return to the faculty of her _Alma Mater_.

Social Questions.

Scholarship at Isabella Thoburn College does not deal exclusively with the dusty records of dead languages and bygone civilizations. It is linked up with present questions, and is alive to the changing India of to-day. Among the matters discussed during my visit were such as: the substitution of a vernacular for English in the university course; the possibility of a national language for all India; the advisability of co-education; and the place of the unmarried woman in New India. To report all that the girls said and wrote would require a book for itself, but so far as space allows we will let the girls speak for themselves.


The Senior Class of eight discussed co-education with great interest, and when the vote was taken five were in the affirmative and only three in the negative.

The following paper voices the objections to co-education as expressed by one especially thoughtful student:

"Co-education is an excellent thing, but it can only work successfully in those highly civilized countries where intellectual and moral strength and freedom of intercourse control the lives and thoughts of the student bodies. Unfortunately these fundamental principles of co-education are sadly lacking in India.

"Although woman's education is being pushed forward with considerable force, for many years to come the girls will still be a small minority in comparison with the number of boys. Besides, in two or three cases where Indian girls have had the privilege of studying with the boys, they have told me that, in spite of immensely enjoying the competitive spirit and broadminded behavior of the boys, they always felt a certain strain and strangeness in their company. One student attended a history class for full two years and yet she never got acquainted with one single boy in her class. There is no social intercourse between the two parties. If each side does not stand on its own dignity in constant fear of overstepping the bounds of etiquette and courtesy, their reputation is bound to be marred."

The arguments for the other side are presented as well. The American reader may be interested to see that the Indian college girl does not consider Western ways perfect, but is quite ready to criticize the manners and morals of her American cousin.

"Co-education cannot burst upon India like lightning. It has to grow gradually in society; and until there is a perfect understanding and sympathy between the sexes, this system will not work.

"Again, co-education should not begin from college. The girls come in from high schools where they are locked up and have no contact with the outside world; and if they come into such colleges when many of them are immature, there will be not only a complete failure of the system, but the result will be fatal in many cases. So the system should be introduced from the primary department and worked up through the high schools and colleges.

"First, there is the question of chivalry, which is a problem that Indian men should solve for themselves. But how are they to solve it? If they study with women, chivalry would become natural to them.

"On the other hand, a woman has to learn how to receive a man's attention--how far to go in her behavior. The question now is, where can she learn this? Isn't it by mixing and mingling in a place where she feels that she is not inferior to man? It is in an educational institution that this equality is most keenly felt.

"Closely allied with chivalry is the question of modesty. It is commonly said that Indian women have a poise, quietness, and reserve different to that in Western women.

"Boldness in women is another fact connected with the above. Indian men and women should not try to follow Western manners. They have hereditary manners which should not be deserted. Indian women can keep their modesty and reserve even while mixing with men. If co-education is made a slow development this difficulty will not appear.

"Secondly, this system will give more facilities to woman for various kinds of occupation. She will then realize that her education is not confined to her home merely, but that she has a right to contribute to humanity just as big a share as any man. With this realization there will come efforts on her part to better the condition of her country by doing her little share. How much a woman can do who has a firm conviction that she is not inferior to any one in this life, but that she is a contributor to her country, whichsoever vocation she follows in life, in that she can do her share!

"The third point is that early marriage and widowhood will be lessened in a large degree. While education will teach men and women to reverence their parents and always consult them, at the same time they will learn to choose for themselves. By coming in contact with the opposite sex, they will learn to decide their marriage themselves; and choosing does not come at an early and immature age. Thus child widowhood, too, will be decreased. Then, too, the widows will be able to work for their livelihood if they don't wish to marry again."

Purdah (veil).

To the North India girl, perhaps the most vexing social question is that of purdah. How can education reach women who live shut away from the sky and the sun and the lives of men? On the other hand, if after the seclusion of a thousand years freedom were suddenly thrust upon women not even trained to desire it, who can measure the disaster that would follow? Where can the vicious circle be broken, and how?

Tiny arcs of its circumference have been broken already. Lal Bagh includes in its family not only its majority of Christian girls, but also a scattering of Hindus and Muhammadans (Muslims) who have made more or less of a break with ancestral customs.

One among these is a member of the Sophomore Class, Omiabala Chatterji of Allahabad. Of Brahman parentage, she was fortunate in having a father of liberal views, who was ambitious for his daughter's education. He died when Omiabala was but three years old, but not before he had passed on to his wife his hopes for the future of the little daughter. The mother, with no experience of school life herself, but only the limited opportunity of a little teaching in her own home, yet entered into the father's ambitions. From childhood Omiabala was taught that hers was not to be the ordinary life of the Brahman woman--she was set apart by her father's wish, dedicated to the service of her people. So the years came and went, and instead of wedding festivities the child was sent away on the journey to Lucknow, to enter into a strange, new life. There followed weeks of homesickness and longing, then gradual adjustment, then glad acceptance of new opportunity. Omiabala now talks enthusiastically of her future plans for work among her own people--plans for the education of Brahman girls, and for marriage reform such as shall make this possible.

The Freshman Class had a spirited discussion as to the benefits and evils of the purdah system. Opinions ranged all the way from that of the zealous young reformer who wished it abolished at once and for all; through advocates of slow changes lasting ten, twenty or even thirty years; all the way to the young Hindu wife, who would never see it done away with, "because women would become disobedient to their husbands."

Here are some of the pros and cons. A Hindu student writes:

"I maintain that the purdah system should not be done away with altogether, for it will upset the whole foundation of the Hindu principle of 'dharm' or how a woman should act and behave before she is called a good and honorable woman. Sometimes, when a woman is given much freedom and liberty and is allowed to go wherever she pleases, she begins to take advantage of such opportunities and does those things which might bring disgrace to the family. The question of education should not be brought up in connection with the purdah, for even the educated ladies are apt to fall in the same temptation as the uneducated ones when the purdah system is removed altogether. The purdah system has done much to maintain the honor and respect of the higher class ladies. The low class women who are always abroad working among men and in the midst of throngs of people are not educated at all and have as much freedom as their men have. So we can conclude that the purdah system only exists among higher classes of people and those who care much for the honor and respect of their family. The higher a family is the more it will be particular about this system."

The following paragraph expresses the views of a Muhammadan (Islam) Freshman:

"Among us, that is the Muslims, purdah is very strict. Ladies need purdah at present, for the men are not civilized enough. Besides, the purdah system should be gradually abolished. If too much freedom is given all at once, ladies won't know how to behave and they will be an hindrance in further progress. Education is at the back of progress. Girls should first be educated and given liberty gradually. Though we Muslim girls have come to Christian colleges and don't observe purdah, yet we are very careful of how we should make the best of it and show a good example by our personality and behavior so that the people who criticize us may not have anything to say. I think if all of us try hard to abolish this system it will take us at least twenty years to do it. No matter what happens I don't approve of ladies mixing _very_ much with gentlemen.

"There are certainly many disadvantages in the purdah system. For instance, it makes ladies quite helpless and dependent. They cannot go out to get any thing or travel even if they are in great necessity. They do not know the streets and roads, so they cannot run away to save their honor or life. Men seem to become their right hand and feet. They do not know, often, what is going on outside their homes and do not enjoy the beauty of nature, and live an uneventful life. This seems to make the ladies lazy and they always keep planning marriages. This is the chief reason of the early marriage of girls among the Muslims. The girl herself has nothing to do, so they think it best for her to get married."

With these it is interesting to compare the views of a Christian student, a young pastor's wife, who along with the care of home and children is now receiving the higher education of which she was deprived in her schoolgirl days.

"The genius of the East will take some time to be taught the social customs of the West. To an Indian it would be a horrible idea if his sister or daughter or wife will go out to tea or supper or dance with a young man who is neither related nor a close friend of the family. India will fondly preserve its genius.

"Indian leaders look with alarm at the possibility of a female India of the type of the West. They would like the purdah system to be removed, females to be educated, to get the franchise, and still for them to keep their modesty. There are many who would like to break this barrier, but it would be disastrous for India to arrive at such a state within fifteen or twenty years when ninety-nine out of one hundred women are illiterate. Education is essential and as long as Indian women, the future mothers of India, do not realize their responsibility, it is much better and wiser that they should remain behind the scene.

"The help we can give in bringing about this great reform is to show by our example. Freedom does not mean simply coming out of purdah and taking undue advantage and misuse of liberty. We who have done away with our purdah should not be stumbling blocks to others. Freedom guided and governed by the Spirit of God is the only freedom and every true citizen ought to help to bring it about."

Social Service.

Lal Bagh students are interested not only in the theories of social reform; they are taking a direct part in the application of these theories through the means of social service, not put off for some future "career," but carried on during the busy weeks of college life. Nor is such service merely social; through it all the Christian motive holds sway. We will let one of the students tell in her own words what they are attempting.

"'Cleanliness is next to godliness' is the first lesson we teach in our social and Christian service fields. Both in our work in the city and in our own servants' compound, we emphasize personal cleanliness and that of the home, and have regular inspection of servants' homes.

"Religious instruction is given to non-Christian children and women in various sections of the city in separate classes. Side by side with these, they are given tips about doctoring simple ailments, and taught how to take precautions at the time of epidemics like cholera, typhoid, etc. Lotions, fever mixtures, cough mixtures, quinine, etc., are given to the poorer depressed classes, as also clothes and soap to the needy ones.

"In the servants' compound plots have been provided for gardening, and provision made for the children's play, and pictures given to parents as prizes for tidy homes. Soap and clothes and medicines are given here also; a special series of lectures on diseases and the evils of drink has been started. A lecture a week is given--cholera, malaria, typhoid fever, dysentery have been touched on--lantern slides and charts and pictures have been used for illustration. On Saturday nights the Christian servants have song-service and prayer meeting, and on Sunday noon a Bible class. Each of these is conducted by a teacher assisted by girls of the College.

"There is opportunity for service for people of all tastes--those who prefer teaching how to read and write, for sewing, for care of the health, care of the baby, avoiding sickness, nursing the sick ... but in every case devotion, enthusiasm, and a sympathetic Christian spirit are needed. Our motive both among our own Christian servants and those who reside in the city and are non-Christians is to serve the least of our needy fellowmen according to the wishes of our Master, and to enlighten and uplift our less fortunate neighbors through the avenues of Christian social service."

An interesting practical suggestion is the following:

"In our Social Service class, which is held every Thursday, there has come up a suggestion about opening up a few Purdah Parks for Indian ladies. It is very essential that Indian women should have some places, where they can take recreation and have some social intercourse with one another, also that the rich and poor may all meet and be brought into sympathy with one another.

"There is a Park right in front of our College, and we have suggested that, if this particular Park is made into a Purdah Park once a week, then we college girls interested in social service work can form a committee and look after the different arrangements, such as the water supply, games, playthings for children, etc.

"We have drawn up a petition and this will be signed by the influential ladies of this place, such as the wives of the Professors of our Lucknow University, and then it will be presented to the Lucknow Improvement Trust Committee.

"We all hope that this petition will be granted, and our sisters will have more of social life and hygienic advantages, to help make stronger mothers and stronger children."

Nor do the girls of Isabella Thoburn College forget all these interests when vacation days come round. This tells something of holiday opportunity. How do our summer vacations compare with it? "How apt one is to slacken and get a little selfish in planning out a programme for a holiday. One is not tied down to the usual duties and routine of school work, and plans are made as to the best possible way of spending the days for one's own pleasure and relaxation. The many little things that one's heart longs for, and for which there is no time during the busy days, are now looked forward to; a particular piece of needlework, a favorite book, some excursions to places of interest; all these and other things are likely to crowd out thoughts of our duties to others in making life a little better and some one a little happier each day.

"And yet a holiday is the time when one can more freely give oneself to others, for opportunities of helpful service offer themselves in the very holiday pursuits, if one has eyes for them.

"Rooming in a home where many mothers have still many more children, one would feel at first like escaping from the noise and commotion caused by crying babies, and yet here are some opportunities of service. It is never a wise plan to leave children to the entire care of ayahs. A very profitable hour may be spent in directing games when the little people build with their bricks gates and bridges, houses and castles, and the older ones listen with interest to some story of adventure. An hour spent in the open air under shady trees in this way would draw many a grateful heart, for there would be less crying, fewer quarrels, and a little more peace for all around.

"In these days when strikes are so common, many opportunities for social service offer themselves. It may be a postal strike. Now, not many of us like to be kept waiting for our mail, and, if the postmen are not bringing us our letters, we very soon contrive some means of getting them. I grant it isn't a very enviable job to be standing outside a delivery window awaiting the sorting of letters by a crew of girl guides and boy scouts, who are not any too serious about their work. But once the letters are secured and delivered at the neighboring homes of friends and others, it is something done, besides the satisfaction of being able to sit down and read your own letters as well as having the grateful appreciation from others.

"Again, a picnic has been planned to some far away hill. The party arrives; tiffin baskets are placed in some shady spot. One of the party wanders away to a little village not far off. She is soon surrounded by a group of scrubby children, who watch her with eyes full of curiosity and wonder. She dips her hand into the bag she has been carrying and brings out a handful of nuts and oranges, and, before sharing them with the children, she invites them to wash their scrubby, little hands and faces in the sparkling stream of clear, crystal water that is flowing through the valley. She gets to talking to them, and asks about their homes, and one little child leads her to a meagre, little, grassy hut in which her sick sister is lying. She hasn't any medicine with her, but she opens wide the door of the hut and lets the bright sunlight in. She strokes the little one's feverish brow, and sets to, and fixes up the bed and soon gets the sickroom, such as it is, clean and tidy. The mother is touched by the gentle kindliness of the stranger and confides her sorrows to her. Other homes are visited. People expecting the kind visitor brush up and tidy their huts.

"So the picnic excursion ends leaving a cleaner and happier spot nestling in among those mountainsides. Several visits are paid to the little village. The stranger is no longer a stranger, for she is now known and loved and is greeted by clean, happy, smiling children, and blessed by grateful mothers. And so in the home and in the office and in God's out-of-doors we can find opportunities for helping others."

Eminent among the student body for maturity of thought and depth of Christian purpose is Shelomith Vincent. Many of these characteristics may be accounted for by her splendid inheritance. Her father was of the military caste, the son of a Zemindar, or petty rajah. At the time of the Mutiny he, a boy of ten years, ran away in the crowd and followed the mutineers on their long march from Lucknow to Agra, where he was rescued by a missionary and brought up in his family. Later, longing to know his past, the young man returned to Lucknow, found his relatives, weighed in the balance the claims of Hinduism and Christianity, and of his own accord decided for the latter. Later we see him a Sanskrit student in Benares, where he married his wife, a fifteen-year-old Brahman convert.

The Christian couple moved soon to the Central Provinces, where Mr. Vincent entered upon his twenty-five years of service as a Christian pastor, using his Sanskrit learning to interpret the message of Christianity to his Hindu friends. Yet it was in lowlier ways that his life was most telling. Settling in a peasant colony of a thousand so-called converts, only half-Christianized, the story of his labors and triumphs reads like that of Columba, or Boniface in early Europe. Through perils of robbers and perils of famine he labored on, building villages, digging wells, distributing American corn in famine days, reproving, teaching, guiding. All this I am telling, because it explains much of the daughter's quiet strength. One of ten children, she has spent many years in earning money to educate the younger brothers and sisters, and she is finishing her college course as a mature woman. Miss Vincent hopes that the American fellowship may one day be hers; and already her plans are developing as to the ways she will contrive to pass on her opportunities to her fellow countrywomen. Her heart is with those illiterate village women among whom her childhood was passed; her longing is to share with them the truth, the beauty, and the goodness with which Lal Bagh has filled her days.

Has Lal Bagh been a paying investment? One wishes that every one whose dollars have found expression in its walls might come to feel the indefinable spirit that pervades them, filling cold brick and mortar with life energy. For centuries philosophers searched for that Philosopher's Stone that was to transmute base metals into gold. In the world to-day there are those who have found a subtler magic that transforms dead gold and silver into warm human purposes and the Christ-spirit of service. That is the miracle one sees in daily process at Lal Bagh.



In the secret of His presence how my soul delights to hide! Oh, how precious are the lessons which I learn at Jesus' side! Earthly cares can never vex me, neither trials lay me low; For when Satan comes to tempt me, to the secret place I go.

When my soul is faint and thirsty, 'neath the shadow of His wing
There is cool and pleasant shelter, and a fresh and crystal spring;
And my Saviour rests beside me, as we hold communion sweet:
If I tried, I could not utter what He says when thus we meet.

Only this I know: I tell Him all my doubts, my griefs and fears;
Oh, how patiently He listens! and my drooping soul He cheers:
Do you think He ne'er reproves me? What a false friend He would be,
If He never, never told me of the sins which He must see.

Would you like to know the sweetness of the secret of the Lord?
Go and hide beneath His shadow: this shall then be your reward;
And whene'er you leave the silence of that happy meeting place,
You must mind and bear the image of the Master in your face.


The first Kindergarten in India.

The first college in India with full staff of women and residence accommodation.

The first Arya Samaj B.A. graduate.

The F.Sc. graduate who became the second woman with the B.Sc. degree in India.

The F.Sc. graduate who later graduated at the foremost Medical College in North India as the first Muhammadan (Islam) woman doctor in India and probably in the world.

The first woman B.A. and the first Normal School graduate from Rajputana.

The first woman to receive her M.A. in North India.

The first Muhammadan (Islam) woman to take her F.A. examination from the Central Provinces.

Probably the first F.A. student to take her examination in purdah.

The first Teachers Conference (held annually) in India.

The first woman's college to offer the F.Sc. course.

The first college to have on its staff an Indian lady.

The first woman (Lilavati Singh) from the Orient to serve on a world's Committee.

The first woman dentist.

The first woman agriculturist.

The first woman in India to be in charge of a Boys' High School.

A Lal Bagh graduate organized the Home Missionary Society which has developed into an agency of great service to the neglected Anglo-Indian community scattered throughout India.

The Lal Bagh student who took an agricultural course in America and is now helping convert wastes of the Himalaya regions into fruitful valleys.

Miss Phoebe Rowe, an Anglo-Indian who was associated with Lal Bagh in Miss Thoburn's time, was a wonderful influence in the villages of North India and carried the Christian message by her beautiful voice as well as her consecrated personality. She traveled in America, endearing India to many friends here. She is one--perhaps the most remarkable, however--of many Lal Bagh daughters who are serving as evangelists in faraway places.


"Your letter was handed to me as I returned from my evening hour of prayer, prayer for our school, special prayer for the problem God has called us to tackle together. I believe that the solution for many of our problems at school is to put things on a Christian foundation. We want workers who are real Christians and who love the Master as sincerely as they do themselves and serve Him for their love of Him. This may not be easy work for us to do, but if God is transforming the whole globe and molding it from the 'new spiritual center,' namely,--Jesus Christ, it is certainly not hard for Him to accomplish it in this place. How He is going to do it I am blind to see. Let us put our feet on the one step that we see with the faith expressed in 'One step enough for me,' and the next step will flash before our eyes. One question that used to trouble me is, how we are to do the work. The poem by Edward Sill in 'The Manhood of the Master' cheers me up now as then with the thought that a broken sword flung away by a craven as useless was used by a king's son to win victory in the same battle. God will use it and perform His work. We have dedicated ourselves for His duty which is gripping our souls. He will use them according to His purpose."

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Malankara World
A service of St. Basil's Syriac Orthodox Church, Ohio
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