Guntur: It is a different kind of Teachers’ Day for teachers and students at Government Women’s College in Guntur as they paid rich tributes to veteran politician and philanthropist Tellakula Jalaiah. Jalaiah would be remembered as ‘guru’ for his services for empowerment of girls’ education. As the college was closed due to Covid-19, the teachers and former teachers decided to organise a small programme to pay tributes to Jalaiah on Saturday via virtual mode.
Jalaiah, who served as municipal chairman during the British regime, was responsible for getting a college for women in Guntur. It was the second exclusive higher educational institution for women in the composite state of Madras (Andhra and Tamil Nadu).
“Jalaiah, a school pass out, was a smart politician. He spent many sleepless nights to achieve the college for Guntur. Knowing fully well that it is difficult to get the college to a small town like Guntur, Jalaiah played his cards well. He met district collector Hope’s wife and put forward a resolution cleared by the civic body to open an educational institution for women in her name and requested her to grant permission,” recalled Dr DAR Subramanyam, former principal, TJPS college.
Floored by Jalaiah’s proposal, the lady prevailed upon her husband and got the government to open the college for women within no time, he said. The college was initially named as Lady Hope Women’s college when it was set up in 1942. Till then, the lone women’s college was in Madras (now Chennai). Post-independence, the Guntur college was renamed as Government Women’s College, he said.
Guntur Women’s College has helped many students from AP to pursue higher education dreams in last 75 years. Jalaiah also served as Guntur city legislator between 1955-62. He was a member of both senate and syndicate of Andhra University. He also founded TJPS degree college in the city in 1971.
“During the golden jubilee celebrations of the college held in 1994-95, then principal Dr Sarada and many former teachers like us requested the government to rename the college as Tellakula Jalaiah memorial Government Women’s College as a mark of respect to the leader. But the TDP government did not approve it,” said a retired teacher.