A century and a half ago, three Catholic nuns from France started a school in Mangalore (now Mangaluru) to educate girl children. The school, which has now become St Ann’s High School, has taught thousands of girls from Karnataka and neighbouring states. The nuns, who are known as the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel, also spread their revolutionary mission to other parts of the country, setting up schools and colleges, exclusively for girl children. On May 5, the nuns will kick off their first school’s sesquicentennial celebrations (150 years) in Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka.

As reported by TOI, Sister Lydia Fernandes, general councilor of the congregation and in-charge of the three-year jubilee programs, remarked that “The work of the Carmelite sisters in starting institutions for girl children years ago has helped increase the literacy rate in coastal Karnataka.”  St Ann’s school was the first school for girls the nuns opened in Mangaluru in 1870 when the literacy rate on the western coast of India was “abysmally low.”

St Ann’s counts among its alumni Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, freedom fighter and social reformer, Octavia Albuquerque, former member of legislative council, Philomena Peres, former chairperson of the Women’s Commission, and Margaret Alva, former Rajasthan governor and senior Congress politician.

Source: The Times Of India