Shri. M. D. Shah Mahila College of Arts & Commerce

श्री एम. डी. शाह महिला महाविद्यालय कला आणि वाणिज्य

Recognised Under Section 2(f) & 12(B) of UGC ,
Affiliated to S. N. D. T. Women's University, Mumbai
Accredited 'A' Grade with CGPA- 3.04 (4th Cycle) by NAAC
IMC RBNQA - Performance Excellence Trophy

Best Practices


Female Physical and Emotional Empowerment- from Defense to Combat

Objectives of the Practice:

All the activities in the college are structured towards women empowerment. The President of the college opines that the students must be able to defend themselves. He feels that the reputation of the students should portray such that the eve teasers in the vicinity must refrain from misbehaving with students forever!

Journey towards Female Physical and Emotional Empowerment started with following aims-

  • Developing a sense of self-worth and belief in oneself
  • Attaining mental and physical discipline through self defense
  • Developing the ability to organise and influence the direction of social change, to create a just social and economic order

The Context

The constant incidences of eve teasing, sexual abuse of girls at several places in the nation initiated the need to think seriously and pointedly towards building power within the young girls who study in the college to acquire inner strength and outer resistance power. The college was organizing demonstrations, some short courses on self-defense but the Nirbhaya case in Delhi in December 2012 became the trigger to take up some substantial and extensive measures to find a solution to the problem. Hence the project Vision-Nirbhaya was introduced.

The Practice Towards Physical Empowerment

Under Vision- Nirbhaya, ALL the students of the first year Bachelor’s of Arts and Commerce Programme are trained to learn numerous methods to defend themselves. Each student is given training for 20 training sessions of one hour each over a period of one year. The training is given as to how to defend oneself while wearing any clothes like a saree or salwar kameez suit, how to triumph over the mind of the attacker, developing inner strength, being vigilant etc.

The course is designed as part of Enrichment course and the students are also given certificates for the same after completion. Participants are trained in combat techniques to ward off predators. Besides self defense techniques, students are made aware of how to protect themselves by using easily available materials like key, Deo, pen, tooth picks, coin, pin, college bags, dupattas, etc. Students are also given physical training to build physical stamina.

The NCC training enables cadets to learn daring feats like slithering down from tall buildings, river rapeling and being ready for all kinds of emergencies.

Towards Emotional Empowerment

Although, physical training itself instills confidence, it was decided to hold workshops, expert talks to build self-esteem and inner strength. Department of Psychology and Family Counselling Centre were approached as they are experienced in reaching out to troubled lives and lead them on to the right path to overcome the problems and look at life anew. Arrangement of specific and directed programmes for the students to provide for emotional empowerment and knowledge of legal provisions were made.

The Department and the Centre regularly arrange lecture talks on emotional empowerment, enhancing self-esteem, Emotional Intelligence, laws related to women etc. A noteworthy programme organised in December 2018 called ‘Khabhi Khushi Khabhi Gham’ – a festival of feelings was organized wherein nearly 450 students participated. The students were screened to detect their emotional state and if the counselor found that some support is needed they were supported by professional counselors through group and individual sessions. Parents were also included in the programme and given tips on dealing with emotional upheavals in teenagers.

The college decided to enroll students in a Suicide Prevention Course to make students aware about suicide prevention, myths about suicide, training on intervention, recognizing suicide symptoms, referring to an expert. The workshop was organized in collaboration with India Suicide Prevention Squad. 400 students were trained under this course.

Evidence of Success

In the last five years 3596 students have undergone the Self Defense training. On23rdMarch 2019, a case of eve teasing took place near the college and the empowered students addressed the issue in a very different way. While students of the college were leaving the college, a boy riding a scooter rode past close to the girls. The bag handle of one girl got entangled in the scooter handle and the girl fell down but instead of apologizing, the boy went ahead dragging the girl too.

Generally, the girls would have kept quiet but these girls ran behind the scooter and confronted the boy who was unapologetic. The boy in extreme rage hit the girls. The students approached the Self Defense training teacher and told her that they want to lodge police complaint. With their parents’ consent the teacher accompanied the students to the police station and lodged the complaint. The boy was arrested.

Many people pressurized the students to withdraw the complaint but the students said “we have learnt this from this college only and now we want that the boy should learn his lesson”. The word went around that the students of M D Shah have filed a police complaint, so till date the eve teasers avoid the area!

Problems encountered and Resources required

  • The problems that are encountered generally are
  • Many students do not complete the course Many students are weak and so do not continue

The resources required-

  • Trainers required to train Self Defense
  • Other resources like the availability of college ground

Best practice - 2


Objectives of the Practice:

Learnings from industry, where quality tools have been used since a long time need to be extrapolating to education. Our college attempts to do so by working with experts from industry and learning from them for the following

  1. Establish a standard process of doing things
  2. Improve efficiency in work environment
  3. Learn method for implementing order in the workplace
  4. Improve safety and morale for improvement in work environment
  5. Encourage team spirit, cohesive culture among different levels and sections of staff
  6. To bring change in the attitude of the staff and continuous improvement

The Practice

Staff members were not aware of the multifarious use of quality tools and its benefits in education. It was felt essential to dispel the misconceptions regarding application of industry processes in education sector. Training in quality tools, seminars and workshops in college were arranged to address the issue and extended to teachers, non-teaching staff and students. These stakeholders underwent training in Quality Circles, 5S and Kaizen.

  • 5-S in Storage Retrieval System- A select team consisting of 7-8 office staff members worked on the project of Storage Retrieval System using 5S application. Adhering to the steps, the team followed the 5S system of – STRUCTURIZE (SEIRI), SYSTEMATIZE (SEITON), SANITIZE (SEISO), STANDARDIZE (SIEKETSO) and SUSTAIN (SHITSUKE). The team also applied the 5S principles of storage while systematically arranging the documents so that the retrieval time is significantly reduced. This circle was started in 2007 with the non-teaching staff but continues its good work till date. In 2019 the entire college worked for its implementation and so teachers and departments also implemented the system for fast retrieval and systematic storage.
  • Kaizen at Workplace – Kaizen which means simple, small, incremental changes brought in by the person who does the work goes a long in improving work processes. Continuous improvement in all functions enables the institute to achieve efficiency. The non-teaching team worked towards applying Kaizen techniques in packing and sealing examination papers, maintenance of leave records and building an in-house water harvesting system.
  • Quality Circles - Quality Circles in cross functional groups of teachers and students or teachers and non-teaching staff have come together to solve problems using and applying quality tools. Since 2007, different Quality Circle teams are formed to scientifically analyse and solve problems in work environment. The areas vary from Housekeeping to Health, Safety, Value Building, and Performance Improvement and so on. Applying Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA), NOMINAL Group Techniques (NGT), Ishikawa (Cause and Effect diagram) the team arrive at solutions and redress the grievance at source.

The students, teachers and the non-teaching staff with the support of management have successfully worked in Quality circles and refined many work processes.The projects have been appreciated at National and International forums winning laurels for the college in kind and cash. The teams have won many awards in the competitions organized by National Centre for Quality Management (NCQM).

Evidence of Success

  • The application of Quality tools has enabled the institute to improve in the following parameters Reduction in cycle time- document of a student who has passed the college even forty years back can be retrieved in less than 10 minutes (5S enabled documentation room). The management has invested lakhs of rupees to install new storage and retrieval system which has resulted a systematic storage of information. Even the departments have implemented the 5-S which has resulted in cleaner campus and systematic filing.
  • Rain water harvesting- the project undertaken by peons has resulted in solving the water shortage problem
  • Confidence building among the staff- the projects have helped the non-teaching and students overcoming stage phobia and public speaking, Team work and cooperation, Presentation skills (10 prizes in 12 years at National and International forums)

These results indicate that scientific approach (finding root cause and taking corrective measures) in addressing and solving problems using cross industry learning is possible in educational institute leading to a systematic process in day to day functioning of the college.

Problems Encountered and Resources required

When a new system is introduced there is bound to be some resistance and while working with human resources some problems are integral. The hurdles faced were

  1. Lack of knowledge- Staff members and students were unaware of the Quality tools and its benefits in improving work processes, some felt that Quality Circles are for industries
  2. Resistance to change-Unwilling to change working style, difficulty in thinking from Self to thinking for the institution
  3. Attitudinal problem- No time, skepticism that it will never work, extra work
  4. Individual problems- Sustenance of staff morale while working, time wastage in meetings because unrelated things also get discussed Lack of confidence in making presentation

Resources required

Inviting experts from industry in

  • Quality tools
  • Computers
  • Space to conduct meetings