It was by providence that I stumbled upon the hitherto undiscovered ‘thread of urgency’ that lay bare and untouched for years, interweaved between the tribal villages around Kombuthooki. Ever since we reached Koravankadu in 1999, we have moved forward with enthusiasm and empathy to uplift and liberate the first generation learners of this interior tribal habitat, with one agenda viz. ‘Education’. Starting with the little we could collect from the generous students of Montfort and full faith and trust in His Providence we moved forward. In spite of numerous difficulties and road blocks, we were able to achieve much through the loving mercies of the Lord along with the support and benevolence of parents, friends, benefactors and students of Montfort and Deshayes Mount. We are ever grateful to the ‘Lord’ who is the protector of the poor, the widows and the orphans. Starting with just few students in 2000, this academic year (2012-2013), we have reached an enviable strength of 955 students receiving ‘Holistic Montfortian Education’ from LKG to std. XII (Tamil medium). I am delighted that nearly 50% of them are girls. All of them are first generation learners.
The students have been doing extremely well in all fronts. In Stds X and XII, our students have successively obtained 100% success with very good marks. In the realm of cultural activities, sports and games too, they have challenged the best of their comrades elsewhere in the State. We accompany and follow up our students after the completion of Std X and XII exams. They are admitted in various reputed Institutions for their graduation. Many of them have already completed graduation and diploma courses and have taken up responsibilities and jobs in various walks of life. This year, the first batch of 5 Engineers which includes a girl student are graduating from Engineering Colleges across Tamilnadu. More than all these, the real success of our intervention in this tribal belt, a land where God’s own children work and play are the positive changes and transformation that has come about in their lives in the following areas.
A society that has been suppressed and sidelined is waking up to join the main stream of life with hope and enthusiasm
The occurrence of child marriages have come down drastically.
The increasing number of girl students in our school indicates the declining number of female infanticides.
The tribals have given up many of their negative and misguided activities such as brewing illicit liquor, growing opium, smuggling sandal wood, teak and other costly forest products.
The periodic health care and medical camps organized at our Community Centre have opened up a whole lot of opportunities for the people to avail the best of medical facilities.
They are approaching the qualified doctors for their medical requirements instead of having recourse to quacks.
The Self-Help groups under our patronage have become a forceful movement among the helpless tribal women to organize themselves against the aggressive men who deprived them of their rightful place in the society and to take care of their immediate financial requirements.
Students are also trained with life oriented skills alongside classroom education to provide them with an alternate route for a better lifestyle.
This humanitarian project has been our response to the call of our Master who came to uplift the poor and the marginalized. The Community Project, through its various curricular and extracurricular programs is striving to establish a ‘just society’ that will be liberated from the clutches of evils, from outside as well as from within. This Mission of the Brothers of St. Gabriel, the Province of Yercaud at Kombuthooki has revealed the real face of St. Montfort, the Champion of the poor and the oppressed.
Our commitment to serve all men and women irrespective of their caste, creed and gender inspired and modeled after Mother Teresa, the Angel of Mercy has given us an assurance -“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Mat: 25/40.
You are most welcome to ‘come and see’ for yourselves.