Even before Swami Vivekananda started the Belur Math, he wanted to establish a Math for women with the Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi as its centre. However, it was during the Holy Mother's Birth Centenary in 1954, that Sri Sarada Math came into
existence. In 1960, the Trustees of Sri Sarada Math founded the Ramakrishna Sarada Mission Association with the object of propagating educational, cultural, charitable, medical and similar activities among women and children. Through the headquarters at Dakshineswar, Calcutta, and its branch centres in different parts of India, the Ramakrishna Sarada Mission seeks to serve women and children in all possible ways, irrespective of caste, creed, colour and nationality. At present the Math and the Mission run about 25 centres in different parts of India and also abroad.
Vivekananda Vidyabhavan, a partly residential degree college for women was the first educational institution started by the Ramakrishna Sarada Mission. It came into existence in 1961 as a humble effort to carry out Swami Vivekananda's ideals of education among women. The inaugural meeting to set up the college took place at 33 Nayapatty Road, Kolkata-55, on 10th March, 1961. The meeting was presided by most revered Swami Madhavananda, the then General Secretary of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission. Housed initially in a one-roomed makeshift structure, with thirty one students and a handful of young, idealistic and enthusiastic teachers and monastic members, the college today stands among the premier women's institutions of the state.