The genesis of NISTARINI (WOMEN’S) COLLEGE, one of the premiere academic institutes in the State of West Bengal is intimately entwined with the cause of women’s education. The institution was first conceptualized in the Summer House of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das – whose family had significantly fostered women’s education in Bengal and was an integral part of the national freedom struggle.
Sri Bhuban Mohan Das and Smt. Nistarini Devi, father and mother of Sri Chittaranjan Das came to reside in this house in the year 1902. Both of them were dedicated social workers and pioneered in introducing higher education among the women folk of this place. Amala Devi, their daughter started a school to impart higher education to the girls of Purulia.
At that time, there was only one lower Primary School, which was known as NISTARINI VIDYALAYA of which Deshbandhu Sri Chittaranjan Das defrayed the entire expenses. A number of the lady teaching staff was brought in to educate girls on all fronts – literary, musical and artistic. An orphanage and a widows’ home were run under the guidance and supervision of Amala Devi. Soon it became a centre of culture for the people of Purulia. Unfortunately, the demise of all the three, Sri Bhuban Mohan Das, Smt. Nistarini Devi and Amala Devi within a short span of time led to the temporary closure of these institutions.
Sometime after, Shrimati Basanti Devi, Chittaranjan’s wife came to reside here and the tradition of the house was again revived. This time they paid special attention to educate the Harijan children living in the neighbourhood. They, along with their parents, were also encouraged to attend religious ceremonies regularly in this house.
When Sri Chiraranjan Das, son of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, fell seriously ill, the then Chief Minister Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy came to attend him and was impressed by the ‘Sankirtan’ assemblage of Harijans in this house. As a result of the Chief Minister’s own initiatives and the request of the eminent leaders and social workers of this district (Sri Jimut Bahan Sen et al) an educational institution for women was set up. Thus, the Summer House of the family was converted into Nistarini (Women’s) College.
For the renovation of this Summer House the College first started its journey in a rented house named “Swapan Puri” at Ranchi Road on 17th day of August 1957. The college was shifted to its original abode, i. e., the Summer House of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das on 16th April 1958, and the Hon’ble President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, laid the foundation stone of the main academic building on 6th November 1958.