Karuna Mary Braganza

Mary Braganza (born 1924), popularly known as Karuna Mary, is an Indian Catholic nun, educator, social worker, writer, developmental education promoter, and former principal of Sophia College, Mumbai.[1] A member of the Society of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ),[2] Sr. Karuna Mary formerly led 204 colleges managed by the Order.[3] During her tenure at Sophia College, in 1970, the institution started Sophia Polytechnic.[4] In 2008 the Government of India awarded her the fourth highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri for her social contributions.[5]

Karuna Mary Braganza
Born1924
Mapusa, Goa, India
Other namesKaruna, "compassion"
OccupationEducationist
Social worker
Years activeSince 1950
Known forDevelopmental education
Sophia College, Mumbai
AwardsPadma Shri

BiographyEdit

Braganza, née Mary, was born in 1924 in Mapuca in the Indian state of Goa, the fifth of what became 10 children in the family, but grew up in Bandra, a suburb of Mumbai.[6] She graduated from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, and secured her post-graduate degree from the same institution. Her social activities had already begun during her college days when she organized mission camps in Talasari. She joined the Society of the Sacred Heart as a nun in 1950, her ordination taking place in England. Returning to India, she was a teacher at Sophia High School, Bengaluru, and, after working there for a few years, joined Sophia College, Mumbai, in the English department. She rose to become head of that department, vice principal, then principal of the college in 1965, the first Indian to hold the position.[7]

During her tenure as the principal of the college, she initiated several educational and social projects. She founded Bhabha Institute of Science, a division of the college for science education up to graduate level and started new departments for sociology, psychology, and biochemistry.[3] In 1970, the college started a vocational education centre under the name Sophia Polytechnic and five years late began a junior college.[8] Another of her major contributions was the establishment of S.P.J. Sadhana School for the Developmentally Challenged, on the college campus, where differently abled children were given vocational training and provided with opportunities for rehabilitation.[9] She is also known to have encouraged students to take up social activities; student involvement with Warli tribals and at Kosbad were two such programmes.[7]

After retiring from Sophia College, Braganza moved to Delhi and took up the post of Secretary of the All India Association for Christian Higher Education, holding the responsibility of 204 colleges under its jurisdiction.[7] She served the Association for six years till her move to Torpa, a tribal area in present day Jharkhand state, in 1998, as a teacher of English language at St. Joseph’s College[disambiguation needed]. Learning the local dialect of Mundari, she worked among the tribal people and founded the Centre for Women’s Development (CWD) and a women's self-help group in 1990. The movement, later, grew to host 5000 members. Her efforts have been reported behind the establishment of an English medium school, creche, children's play school, and a girls' hostel. She was also instrumental in the documentation of indigenous herbs of the area.[7] During this period, she had to face resistance from some of the dissenting locals who alleged conversion, and she survived an attack by local thugs.[3]

In 2000, Braganza went back to Mumbai where she revived the Alumni Association of Sophia College and became involved with their activities as the director of the association for five years. She was also involved in rural programmes of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault (SCESA) such as rainwater harvesting in Mangaon in the Raigad district of Maharashtra.[6] In 2005, when Zainab Tobaccowala Secular High School, a local school, was devastated by the floods, she took up the cause and generated funds for the reconstruction and assisted in the re-establishment of the school by helping to hire competent teachers.[6][10] Her involvement is also reported in the establishment of Sophia Center for Women's Studies, division for vocational studies, at Sophia College,[3] and in the relocation and rebuilding of St Mary’s Convent School, Matara, a Tsunami-affected school in Sri Lanka.[11] A periodic writer on developmental education,[12] she has served as the editor of the newsletter published by the Indian Association for Women's Studies (IAWS),[13] where she regularly contributed editorial articles.[14]

The Government of India awarded her the civilian honour of the Padma Shri in 2008. Braganza, a life member of the Centre for Women's Development Studies (CWDS),[15] retired in 2006 and lives in Pune.[7] Her life has been documented in a 396-page book, The Charism of Karuna - Life Story of Sister Karuna Mary Braganza, published in 2011.[16]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Sr Karuna Mary Braganza on Archives.org". Archives.org. 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  2. ^ "RSCJ". Vidimus Dominum. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d "Mary has a little lamp". Times of India. 18 October 2001. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  4. ^ "About Sophia Polytechnic". Sophia Polytechnic. 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "A school, a flood and an 84-yr-old nun who is always on the move". Times of India. 7 May 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e "A Nun Named Compassion" (PDF). Sparrow Online. April 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Milestones". Sophia College. 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  9. ^ "S.P.J. Sadhana School for the Developmentally Challenged". Karmayog. 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  10. ^ "Zainab Tobaccowala School". EdleGive Foundation. 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  11. ^ "St Mary's Convent School Improvement Matara Sri Lanka". SOS Malta. 5 May 2005. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  12. ^ Braganza, Karuna Mary (1989). Cultural forces shaping India. Macmillan India. p. 224. ISBN 0333909720.
  13. ^ "Newsletter". Indian Association for Women's Studies. 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  14. ^ Karuna Mary Braganza (May 1986). "Editorial" (PDF). Newsletter No. 2. Indian Association for Women's Studies. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Life Member CWDS" (PDF). Centre for Women's Development Studies. 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  16. ^ Nuns (2011). The Charism of Karuna - Life Story of Sister Karuna Mary Braganza. Alfreruby Publishers. p. 396. ISBN 9788186236109.

External linksEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Nuns (2011). The Charism of Karuna - Life Story of Sister Karuna Mary Braganza. Alfreruby Publishers. p. 396. ISBN 9788186236109.
  • Braganza, Karuna Mary (1989). Cultural forces shaping India. Macmillan India. p. 224. ISBN 0333909720.
  • Karuna Mary Braganza (May 1986). "Editorial" (PDF). Newsletter No. 2. Indian Association for Women's Studies. Retrieved 31 January 2016.