St. Mira's College For Girls, Pune

Autonomous - Affiliated to Savitribai Phule Pune University * Undertaking

Re-accredited by NAAC 'A' Grade (Third Cycle June 2017) 2017 : NAAC score 3.41 2012 : NAAC score 3.03 Awarded: Best College-SPPU (2002); , UGC-CPE (2005), UGC-CPE (2010)

Centre for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE)


Vision & Mission Statement

Vision Statement

CWE aims to create an environment that promotes and stimulates the spirit of entrepreneurship among the students of the College.

Mission Statement

CWE seeks to achieve the spirit of entrepreneurship through educational programs, events, activities and research.


Committee Members

  • Dr. Gulshan Gidwani, Advisor to CWE
  • Dr. (Ms.) Rama Venkatachalam, Co-ordinator, CWE
  • Ms. Abhradita Chatterjee Nahvi, Co-coordinator. CWE

Other Members

  • Ms. Jyoti Chintan
  • Ms. Rajni Singh
  • Ms. Shanthi Fernandes
  • Ms. Deepa Krishnamurthy
  • Ms. Rekha Kankariya
  • Ms. Amrita Basu
  • Ms. Kajal Jaisinghani

Contact Details

Dr. Rama Venkatachalam

Coordinator : CWE, Cubicle No.7, Departmental Cubicles - 2nd floor, St. Mira’s College.

Email : rama.venkat@stmirascollegepune.edu.in / cwe@stmirascollegepune.edu.in


The Mental Well Being Program

Department of Psychology

Dealing with mental health impacts of COVID-19 one session at a time.

Amidst the chaos induced by COVID-19, students are dealing with various mental health concerns. Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, research has found a broad worsening of mental health indicators among college students in Indian context. Now students are facing new, complex challenges such as adapting to distance learning, isolation from peers, concerns about family, health, career and financial security. UGC has already stated the guidelines and importance of preventive measures to help students deal with mental health impacts of COVID-19. St. Mira's College for Girls, Pune organised a series of Mental Well-being awareness sessions to address these mental health concerns and help students navigate through this stressful time. This series is an extension of the College’s ongoing full time Mental Well-being program for their students.

The Mental Well-being program is designed with a conscious awareness that mental wellbeing requires consistent and continuous work. This program is a major component of the entire academic year for our college where students receive both preventive and interventive mental health care.

The webinar series was announced on 23 rd April 2020. An online survey was done to assess college student’s mental health concerns during the lockdown. Students reported increased anxiety, lack of routine, depressive thoughts and interpersonal conflicts with family members as major concerns.

College Mental Well-being program coordinator Ms. Pooja Jain reported, around 310 students signed up for these sessions from various colleges across country including students from Trivandrum, Visakhapatnam, Ghaziabad, Patna and various cities and towns of Maharashtra. First session was conducted on 25 th April, 2020 which focused on practical skills and ways to manage Anxiety. Second session dated on 27 th April, 2020 focused on building healthy Social Connections with peers and family members. This session was very well received, and students shared how the practical insight and conflict resolution skills helped them in improving their relationship with parents and identify unhealthy relationships with peers and social media. Last session of the series focused on holistic Well-being and Mindfulness. Various mindfulness techniques and exercises were practiced by the psychologist in the session to help students practice in their daily routine. 98% of the students reported that they felt relaxed and motivated after these sessions through the feedback form. All of them requested to organise more sessions on Mental Well- being and expressed that they are particularly important for student community.

Mental health and Wellbeing of Students during and after COVID-19 breakout (April 4, 2020)

Following measures have been taken for the mental health, psychosocial aspects and well-being of the students:

Measure 1

Program: Online Support group sessions for Students in times of COVID-19

Launched on March 22, 2020 the Online Support program is an extension of the college’s ongoing mental wellbeing programme introduced last year.

Objectives:

To create a safe space to discuss students’ needs, challenges and personal distress associated with preventive measures like quarantine and social distancing.

To address psychosocial and academic stressors faced by students due to lockdown

Identifying students who may at high risk for mental health concerns and reaching out to them through telephonic counselling

Conduction of focused group sessions for every class to address common concerns

Plan of Action:

Step 1: Identifying students’ needs and concerns

An online form was shared with all the students to know their mental health needs and readiness for online support groups/sessions. More than 700 students requested for online support and interaction with the college counsellor

Step 2: Familiarizing students with aspects of online support group sessions.

All the important guidelines and protocols were shared with all the students explaining step by step process of joining support group sessions through ZOOM network. A well-defined timetable was also shared to make these sessions accessible to all.

Step 3: Online support group sessions- 90 minutes each

Online support group sessions started on 28th March 2020. College counsellor has been meeting students from each class virtually where following concerns and topics are discussed:

Mental health care- ideas and suggestions

Dealing with lack of Motivation

Anxiety and Depressive thoughts – sharing these feelings and navigating

Boundary setting – with family members, partners and social media

Step 4: Identifying students at high risk.

Last and most important step of this program is reaching out to potentially high-risk students for mental health concerns, through Skype sessions/calls by the college counsellor. Students have also been asked reach out to the college counsellor directly using email or call.

Measure 2:

Sharing video links of Ministry of Health and Family welfare on College website and with faculty and students through email, WhatsApp and social media:

Practical tips to taking care of your mental health during the stay in

Minding our minds during COVID -19

Various health experts on how to manage mental health and wellbeing during COVID- 19 outbreak

Psychosocial toll-free Helpline: 080461100


About

The Mental Well-bring Program for students of St. Mira’s College for Girls, Pune launched in July 2019.

The Programme is a full-time program initiated by Department of Psychology to address mental health needs and concerns of the students. Promotion, Prevention, and Intervention are the three major arms of this program.

For further details contact

Dr Jaya Rajagopalan

Head of Department of Psychology

Psychology Lab, 2 nd Floor

Email: jaya.rajagopalan@stmirascollegepune.edu.in


Object

Increase awareness about four major themes: Stress, Depression, Anxiety, and Interpersonal relationships

Help students identify various mental health concerns faced by them

Reduce stigma amongst students around mental health needs and concerns

Encourage help-seeking and bridge the gap between students and College counsellor

Enhance sensitivity and empathy about mental health needs and concerns

Identify students displaying early signs and symptoms of a mental health concern and provide early intervention

Integrate life-skills listed by WHO through awareness sessions, support groups and counselling services.

--Broad Activities

Mental Health Promotion : is any action taken to maximise mental health and wellbeing among students. All the college platforms like the daily sanctuary, notice boards and classroom discussions etc, were used to promote the need and importance of mental wellbeing.

Prevention : refers to interventions that occur before the initial onset of a disorder to prevent the development of the disorder. Our focused group therapy sessions and awareness sessions aim at identifying risk factors for student’s mental health and enhancing protective factors like peer support, sense of trust etc, that promote mental well-being.

Early intervention : comprises interventions that are appropriate for and specifically target people displaying the early signs and symptoms of a mental health problem or mental disorder, and people developing or experiencing a first episode of mental disorder Services provided under this program: Individual Counselling, Group therapy, and mandatory classroom awareness sessions.


Visiting Mental Health Consultants

Behroze Chinoy- A Counselling Psychologist by professions.

Available: Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 12:00-2:00 pm on campus.

Nupur Dhakephalkar- A practicing Clinical Psychologist (NIMHANS, Bangalore).

Available: Thursdays from 12:00-2:00pm on campus.


Implementation Summary:

Type of services Total no. of sessions Theme covered Total Students benefitted
Classroom Awarenesssessions 52 Stress, Anxiety and Depression 1800
Group therapy sessions 16 Examination anxiety & Interpersonal relationships 240
Individual Counselling sessions 215 Individual Counselling sessions 215
COVID-19 Mental Well-being Response
Online support group sessions 12 Dealing with Lockdown, Managing anxiety and stress due to COVID-19 410
Community Outreach
Webinar series 3 Strategies to manage Anxiety, Building healthy social connections, Mindfulness and Mental Wellbeing 375

Mental Well-being awareness sessions were conducted for all degree college classes including BA, BCom, BBA, BCA, BCS and junior college students.

Impact summary:

After awareness session on Stress and Anxiety, 98.9% of students reported that they felt mental health awareness sessions are important for building sensitivity and awareness about mental well-being.

80.9% of students reported that the awareness session on Depression and loneliness triggered some feelings /thoughts for them and encouraged help-seeking from the counsellors.

66.4% of participants reported that they felt relaxed and 54% of them felt motivated after the online support group sessions during the lockdown.

96.7% of students reported that virtual sessions will help students in dealing with emotional concerns during the lockdown

As feedback to mental well-being awareness sessions, 89.3% of students reported that they would like to attend more such workshops/sessions in the future.


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of ambiguity and anxiety, especially amongst students. Times like these can generate a lot of stress which may be shown by our body in various ways. It has created changes in our routine, eating and sleep patterns and outlook towards the day.

The Mental Well-being program will focus on building support, provide safe spaces to interact and building new resources for students to deal with this unprecedented change. The programme would encourage students to identify their concerns and seek help from the college counsellor.

Themes:

Manifestation of Stress- Depressive Thoughts and Anxiety in times of Emergencies

Studying from home- Tips and Suggestions

Career Guidance and Planning

Building Healthy Social Connections

Community Outreach-Webinar Series and Support Group sessions for students and teachers on Mental Well-being Strategies in times of COVID-19 pandemic and Psychological First Aid.


Program Coordinator:

Ms. Pooja Jain ( Full-time On-campus Counsellor, St. Mira’s College)

Counselling Psychologist (TISS, Mumbai) with an experience of 5 years.

Ms. Jain regularly conducts classroom awareness sessions and group therapy sessions

Write to us: mentalhealth@stmirascollegepune.edu.in


Mira International Learning Exchange (MILE) A Centre for Virtual Collaboration

About

Mira International Learning Exchange: A Centre for Virtual Collaboration arose out of its rewarding interaction with LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York and its programme titled COIL: Collaborative Online International Learning which “allows faculty partners in different parts of the world to develop a shared curricular project and engage their students using online tools (synchronous and asynchronous).” Globally other terms used to describe this practice are Virtual Exchange, Telecollaboration, Online Intercultural Exchange

Objectives/Vision and Mission

To promote cross-border communication and exchanges of knowledge

To be part of a process that encourages tolerance, respect and sharing

To introduce potential ideas that could lead to other virtual collaborations

To open up new horizons in global teaching and learning

To connect teachers across the world to enhance research

Outcomes of the MILE courses for participating students

Comparing issues, policies, and beliefs across cultures

Exploring global ethics (e.g. ethical tourism, COVID-19)

Exposure to and engagement with divergent perspectives

Critical reflection on how various participants view the world

Providing or receiving international peer mentorship

Serving as cultural informants

Addressing and receiving feedback from international peer audience

Writing collaborative academic papers

Committee Members

The Principal, St Mira’s College for Girls The Department of English, St. Mira’s College for Girls

Contact Us:

snober.sataravala@stmirascollegepune.edu.in

suhaile.azavedo@stmirascollegepune.edu.in

komal.tujare@stmirascollegepune.edu.in

Activities 2019-20

La Guardia Mira COIL: The Partition of India

On the 10 th of September, 2019, St Mira’s College Pune and LaGuardia Community College New York embarked on a path-breaking pedagogical experiment and they were joined by the Department of English and Humanities, University of Liberal Arts, Dhaka, Bangladesh and Institute of Communication and Cultural Studies, University of Management and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan.

In a world that seems to be building walls, these four educational institutions collaborated on a shared syllabus to understand narratives of partition and explore narratives of healing. The students studied Ice-candy Man by Bapsi Sidhwa, Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh, “Toba Tek Singh” by Manto, “Rabeya Apa” by Ashraf Siddiqui and the article “The Great Divide” by William Dalrymple. A total of 90 students from Pune, Lahore, Dhaka, and New York collaboratively read partition literature to celebrate both differences and commonality between diverse cultures and backgrounds..

Ummesalama Karu, a second year student from St Mira’s College, says the reason she joined COIL or the collaboration was, “to know about the diversity and how people in the world are different and similar to Indians.” To which the students at LaGuardia Community College responded, “We value diversity and look forward to discussing everything.” What a wonderful way to celebrate difference!!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TmSp6fzTOFsyarhBFyxZ3Qex6EXXgfV2/view

Activites 2020-21

Brainstorming between LaGuardia Community College and St Mira’s College: In search of future collaborations, 25 th June and 4 th July 2020

Webinar: “An Introduction to COIL: Collaborative Online International Learning” For St. Mira’s College Faculty interested in participating in COIL, 6 th July 2020:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ljmquk-XIvL5pkggps2a0176zRmv3YdU/view

End July: Workshop on match-making teachers across the world

September and October: Workshops by Dr Olga Aksakalova

Hands-on training by MILE (St Mira’s college) and COIL (LaGuardia Community College) faculty respectively

December: MILE Webinar- Participating Teachers and Students to present their various Virtual collaborations, the hurdles and achievements


CWE Activities

CWE Student Development Cell : Report on Workshop ‘The NirbhayKanyaAbhiyan’

A three-day Workshop on ‘Nirbhay Kanya Abhiyan’ was organized by the CWE in collaboration with Student Development Cell on Feb 3-5 th , 2020. The Workshop had a focus on Financial, Social and Self-Development of girls.

On day One, Mr. Ravi Ghate, social entrepreneur talked about startups and ideation. Mr. Kunal Sarpal, Founder & CEO White Collar Legal, LLP spoke about the formalities and legalities that are required for an Entrepreneur.

On Day 2, Mr.Kutwal, shared his experiences and challenges as a Rural Entrepreneur. Ms.Shivani Sinha, research scholar at SPPU spoke on the topic ‘Women entrepreneurship in India; Opportunities and Challenges’.

On Day 3, Ms.Vanita shared her journey as an entrepreneur in Event Management. A session on Grass root Innovation by Mr.Sathya Natrajan, a social entrepreneur and who has a passion for volunteering was very inspiring and intriguing. He shared a number of case studies with the participants.

Dr. Rama Venkat, Co-ordinator, CWE introduced the activities undertaken by CWE. The workshop has a total participation of 150 + students from across the arts and commerce streams from colleges affiliated to SPPU. Besides St. Mira’s College, the workshop had participants from Christ College, St. Vincents Night College, SVIM’s Institute of MBA and Arihant College of Arts & Commerce.

CWE: Workshop on Godhadi Making (Quilt-Making)

The CWE organized a workshop, in ‘godhadi-making’ (quilt-making) as a part of Swatchata Pakhwad on the 27th of January, 2020. Ms. Mrunal SHende was the guest at the workshop.

Mrunal Shende, a homeopath by profession gave up her practice due to personal reasons & took up stiching, godhadi making as a career. She has her own studio at Kothrud. She has diversified into bag making & home décor products and markets her products at exhibitions in Pune & Mumbai. She also conducts workshops for people who are keen at learning the art.

The participants came along with their own material- old dupattas and sarees and follow the instruction given by Ms. Mrunal. Many of the participants came up with very creative design for their ‘godhadi’. There were around 70 participants and they were keen to learn more. Ms Mrunal Shende made it a fun-learning experience.

Mira Bazaar (2019)

The Grand Gala Annual Event ‘Mira Bazaar’, the endeavour of the Centre for Women Entrepreneurship (CWE), St. Mira’s College was organized on Dec 14, 2019.The Chief Guest for the event was Mrs. Anuja Deshpande, Deputy Director of MCCIA and the Guest of Honour Mrs. Pushpa Shah of the Suyog Group. The event was co-sponsored by Suyog Life Care, Diagnostic Centre headed by Ms. Monika Shah.

The event primarily provides a platform for the young ‘entrepreneur’ students to showcase their entrepreneurial skills. The Bazaar has 35 stalls of delicacies, handmade jewellery, clothes, accessories, Tarot Card reading, photo booth, nail art etc. put by the students with great enthusiasm and innovation. Besides, there was participation from entrepreneurs, NGO’s and Alumni as well.

In our tiny steps towards environment conservation, the Green Club, St. Mira’s College put up a stall of pre-owned clothes the proceeds of which will be used for the green initiatives of the college.

The Mira Bazaar 2019 witnessed an enthusiastic response from over 1800 visitors comprising of students, parents, faculties and friends.

Mira Bazaar is the annual event of St. Mira’s College for Girls that provides a platform for students to showcase their entrepreneurial skills. It is an initiative by the Centre for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE). The Centre seeks to achieve the spirit of entrepreneurship through educational programs, events, activities and research. Connecting theory with practice, the aim is to infuse Entrepreneurial thought and action through co-curricular activities and Mira Bazaar is one such activity.

This year, the event was organised on 17th December. The chief guests of the event were Ms. Gauri Dholepatil & Ms. Noopur Pawar, organizers of Kalagram Exhibitions. The judges of the event were Ms. Shweta Shah, founder of Red Heart Company along with Ms.Vanita Naraindas, founder of Make Magic Events. The enthusiasm and energy of the young and passionate students could be felt in the atmosphere. The bazaar aimed at inculcating a practical mind-set and creative expression of business plans & provided all the stall holders with realistic business experience.

There were 50 stalls in the bazaar that showcased a wide range of commodities from food items like the Bihari litti chokha, chaat, biscuit pizza, fries, pav - bhaji and others to clothing items like lehengas & services like hair styling and henna art. The Green Club stall gained maximum popularity having a jumble sale of pre-owned clothes. This year the bazaar saw the participation of various NGOs like Ishanya Foundation, Deep Griha Society, Prayatna Foundation & Help Life Foundation where products made by the underprivileged part of society were on sale.

This was an endeavour to establish a platform for enriching, nurturing and raising women of substance with a strong sense of independence, not only in a way of living but also in leading. The inclusion of NGOs leagues the students' passion and determination with the strength of all the feminine voices seeking support.

The bazaar gathered a huge crowd of over 1700 visitors. The bazaar proved to be a grand success with all the students motivated by stock clearance & profit. The event ended on a high note with the commitment of a bigger and better event next year in praise of the entrepreneurial spirit.

Report on Inauguration of Incubation Centre - CWE

The CWE, St. Mira’s College inaugurated the Incubation Centre on Nov 28th, 2019. Dr Apoorva Palkar, Director - Innovation, Incubation and Linkages at SPPU inaugurated the Incubation Centre. The Incubation Centre is an initiative of Centre for Women Entrepreneurship (CWE) at St. Mira’s College and is created in collaboration with Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, TISS Mumbai. The Incubation Centre has been setup to create and develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the social impact space.

On the occasion, Dr. Palkar shared her vision and words of wisdom with the student members of the Centre and the faculty. She emphasized and illustrated upon the importance of ideas, passion and entrepreneurial spirit as the necessary inputs for a successful start-up.

The programme ended with the vote of thanks delivered by Dr. Rama Venkatachalam, Program Manager, Incubation Centre.

A Day at Midas – An Entrepreneurship Workshop on 26th November 2019

35 students of CWE attended the highly interactive and interesting workshop conducted by coach Mr. Vishal Shah & his team. Students were taken through the core skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur, with lucid examples. Students gained insights into what it takes to assemble an entrepreneurial venture; and, how entrepreneurship is a way of living, and not just a career option.

Not only were challenges, but also the steps to be followed from the initial stage outlined. New concepts of effectuation and tools to measure entrepreneurial skills among the students were explained in detail. The students actively participated in the brainstorming sessions.

Centre for Women Entrepreneurship Intra-College Activity – Waste-O-Mania (Creating Best out of Waste)

In connection with the World Entrepreneurs’ Day, the Centre for Women Entrepreneurship organized a Inter-College Competition ‘Waste-O-Mania’ i.e. creating best out of waste on 31st August 2019. The event was an initiative to promote sustainable development and prove that the 3R’s – reuse, reduce, recycle are the best strategies to make the most out of waste materials. The objective behind the activity was to bring out the creative ideas on reuse of the waste material for a better tomorrow. The ideas generated would be of economic and material value for the students to create environmental consciousness among them.

The result of the event was that participants created excellent products like home decoration, Ganpati decoration, wall hangings, photo frames, paper baskets, pen holders etc. The students displayed a lot of enthusiasm and energy during the event. They realized how reuse of waste can make a better tomorrow. Judge Ms. Meher Omer, a Fine Artist and an Art Teacher, was delighted to see the wonderful products made out of waste in a short time. The activity ended on a note of fulfillment and a sense of achievement.

Session in connection with Global Tiger Day (2019-20)

In connection with Global Tiger Day, CWE in collaboration with Footloose Journeys, a novel travel venture in the area of Responsible & Sustainable Tourism conducted a very interesting and interactive session on 29th July 2019 at St.Mira's College.

Mr. Paresh the co-founder of Footloose Journeys shared informative insights through interesting clippings on the Royal Bengal Tiger of India— its population, the ecosystem, habitat and the various jungles in India where tigers are found. He also discussed in length the efforts taken by the forest department and wildlife enthusiasts to save the tiger and increase its numbers. Videos showing the camera trappings tracking the movements of the tiger and the various threats to the tiger population were an eye-opener. He concluded his talk by sharing simple tips to save the environment and wildlife. Volunteering opportunities in wildlife conservation was also offered to the students. The students said that they learnt so much about tigers that made it them proud to be part of an amazing wildlife ecosystem.

Inaugural Talk (2019-2020)

The CWE organized an inaugural talk on ‘Experiences of an Entrepreneur’ on 18th July 2019 at St. Mira’s College. The talk was conducted by Ms. Mousami Nilakhe, a certified NLP Master Practitioner and Coach. She had been an excellent Project Manager in the field of Software Testing and worked with MNCs like Capgemini, Kanbay and Oracle Financial Services.

Ms. Nilakhe shared her experiences as an employee of the IT industry and her journey as an entrepreneur. She broadly covered the various qualities and skills required to be a successful entrepreneur with lucid examples and case studies. She shared practical tips on developing various skills like reading autobiographies, watching interviews, taking responsibility in organising events or activities, social services, etc.

She also focused on the challenges in entrepreneurship. The highly interactive session helped students understand the pros and cons of taking up entrepreneurship as a career option.