Bhanria is a mission parish in the diocese of Jashpur, Chhattisgarh (India) . The parish is about 45 kms from Kunkuri, the diocesan headquarters and 90 kms from Jashpur, the district headquarters. In 1981, Bhanria was created as a separate parish and the bishop of Kunkuri entrusted the parish to the Pallottine Fathers & Brothers for pastoral care of the Catholic families of Bhanria and the surrounding villages. The parish has 24 Catholic villages with a Catholic population about 6850.
The area is a hilly terrain with paddy fields all around. The indigenous people of the area live in hamlets in thatched mud houses inside thick forest region without proper sanitation.
An elementary school and children home
In view of providing quality education to Catholic indigenous people, the parish started a school that provides education to children until 12th grade. Presently, the school provides good education to almost 1000 children. The people are gradually becoming aware of the importance of education and start sending their children to schools and children homes. It is comforting to see that the rural indigenous children are attending classes in the school regularly and start using children home to access quality education.
In the children home, the boys get opportunities for special classes, sports and games. The bigger boys get career guidance and counselling. The school teachers take special care to impart spiritual and moral values to children both in classrooms and outside. Manual work in the evening is also training for children to keep the school and children home campus clean. The physical labour not only teaches the children the dignity of work but also it becomes an opportunity for them to learn the art of horticulture and gardening. In the home, the young boys get special coaching in carrier guidance in addition to counselling and motivational sessions.
Presently, the children home gives accommodation to 135 boys. However, they do not have a dining hall for meals. In the existing circumstances of not having adequate infrastructure, they are compelled to use the open space, verandas and classrooms during time of meals.
Barbaspur is situated 80 kms from the diocese of Ambikapur and 38 kms from Surjapur, the district headquarters in Chhattisgarh. In 2000, Divya Primary School was started at Barbaspur to provide education to thousands of indigenous children who had no facilities for education. The school provides education up to 10th grade to over 400 rural boys and girls.
As the new parochial house for the parish got constructed, the old house was converted into children’s home to accommodate 85 boys. Initially many children were not regular to the school as they had to travel long distances to reach the school. With the starting of a children home for boys, many rural boys got admitted to the children home to attend the school regularly and improve their academic performance.
The home has dormitories with beds and halls for study out of school hours. The health care of boys is taken care of by the Religious Sisters who run a dispensary. However, the home lacks a dining hall, furniture for study hall and more hygienic and spacious kitchen that can cook food for children without hassles.
As the result of running children’s home, there is visible sign of decrease in the dropouts among school going children. The number of students in each class in the school is increasing as many students come to the school from the neighbouring villages.
Activities of children
Apart from school hours, the children have study hours both in the morning and in the evening. They utilize this time chiefly for doing their homework they get from the school and focus on subjects they are generally weak and score low marks in the examinations. Besides studies, the children engage themselves in manual works in the evening. During time of work, they do gardening and clean the surroundings. Sports and games such as football, kho-kho and Kabbadi keep the boys physically fit and whenever possible they participate in competitions. Participation in periodical cultural activities is another opportunity for them to exhibit and improve their natural talents.
Sustainability of children home
An attempt is being made to make the children home sustainable by encouraging the parents to contribute sufficiently for their children’s education. As the parents of the children are economically backward and mostly marginal farmers, the sustainability of the home is a gradual process.
Bishrampur mission center was established in 1971. Bishrampur is situated in the diocese of Ambikapur, Chhattisgarh. It is 30 kms away from Ambikapur bishop’s house and 11 kms away from Surjapur, the district headquarters. In 1981, the bishop of Ambikapur entrusted the parish to the Pallottine Fathers and Brothers for pastoral care of Catholic families in the surrounding villages. The area with numerous coal mines attracted many migrants from the neighboring towns and villages. There were many catholic families among the migrants who were mainly indigenous people. The major part of this parish consists of forest where there are settlements of indigenous communities of Oraons, Rajwars, Gonds, Pandoes and Karwas. The indigenous communities are often victims of exploitation by the landlords of the region.
School and Children Home
The situation of Illiteracy among the migrants in Bishrampur motivated the Pallottine priests to start a school and a children’s home in the town. The children home is equipped with adequate dormitories with beds. The children are provided with study halls for studies and classes outside school hours.
The home for boys focus on their intellectual, spiritual and moral development. The children get opportunity to keep themselves physically fit through games, manual labour and sports. Periodical cultural activities during festivals and special occasions make the children bring out their natural talents.
In the academic year 2016-2017, the children’s home at Bishrampur accommodated 95 school going children and gave them opportunity for quality education.
The mission center at Kantapalli is situated in Rourkela diocese in the state of Odisha. It is 65 kms away from the city of Rourkela. 16 Catholic villages of the mission is spread around in the area and mostly situated in thick forest. Some of the villages are connected by road while other villages have to be approached by foot. As the people live in remote villages far away from educational institutions without any awareness on modern and quality education, the literacy level of the people are very low. There are also many school dropouts among indigenous people. Although there are government schools in the area, they don’t function properly to impart good education to children. Moreover, the government schools lack proper infrastructure, sufficient staff and learning facilities for children.
With the aim of improving the literacy of people in villages, a children home was started at Kantapalli in the mission complex. The parents of children had no opportunity for sending their children for education. With residential facilities for children in the children home and availability of the neighboring school motivated many economically backward parents to send their children for education. The parents became aware that their young sons in the children home are assured of comfortable accommodation, nutritious food, sports, games and opportunities for developing their talents through cultural activities. They also became aware that children with residential facilities within the church complex shall also get spiritual, intellectual and moral formation through community living with other children.
Although the children Home has dormitories and common toilets, it is yet to be equipped with more convenient and better kitchen to make less use of firewood and better safety for women cooks. The home is also in need of a dining hall, taps for drinking water, a bathing tank for smaller boys, and a shed for drying clothes.
In the year 2017, the children’s home for boys at Kantapalli proposes to give accommodation to 188 school going children. The Home functions as an important platform for rural boys to develop their natural talents and abilities. During their stay in the children’s home, the boys get not only spiritual and moral education; they are also motivated to pursue higher education that can help them seek government and private jobs.
As the result of running children home at Kantapalli, there is visible sign of decrease in the dropouts among school going children. The Home provides a platform for rural boys to develop their natural talents and abilities. During their stay in the children home, the boys get motivated to pursue higher education and seek government and private jobs. In children home, the inmates get regular nutritious food, accommodation, learning facilities and health care to remain physically and morally fit so that they can excel in their academic performance in the school.
In 1982, Archdiocese of Ranchi, Jharkhand started Khalari mission center. In 1983, the Archdiocese entrusted the center to the Pallottine Fathers & Brothers for pastoral care of the people at Khalari and the surrounding villages. Khalari is situated 61 kms away by road from Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand state. The population of Khalari consists of factory workers, coal miners and daily wage labourers. There are also marginal farmers who depend on monsoon rains for cultivation of their crops. Khalari area is also known to be infested with dacoits who hide in the darkness of trees in the dense forest.
Pallottine Fathers started a Hindi medium school at Khalari to improve the quality of education for children in the area. During the construction of the school, the rooms in the Church complex were used for conducting classes for children. Presently, the Adarsh Vidyalaya High school, one of the prestigious schools at Khalari, provides education to over 1200 children from Khalari and surrounding villages.
In 2011, Children Home was started at Khalari to help children from economically backward families in villages. The children’s home enabled many poor rural parents to send their children for better education. The Children home at Khalari helped 35 children for their education in the academic year 2015-2016. The children home became important for many parents who initially thought that education of their children was not valuable. Later they became aware that education for their children was essential in the present Indian society
In addition to academic activities, the children get opportunities to improve in their spiritual life by participating in Eucharistic celebration, sacraments of the church and devotions. Nutritious food, manual labour, sports and games keep the children physically fit.
Kuru mission center was started in 1984. It is situated on Ranchi-Raigarh Highway in the state of Jharkhand. The children home at Kuru supports underprivileged children from indigenous and Dalit families. The majority of indigenous people are marginal farmers who depend mainly on rains for their unsustainable cultivation. Many members of these underprivileged families work for landlords as daily wage laborers to earn their livelihood. The indigenous people of the area live in hamlets inside thick forest region. They live in thatched mud houses without proper sanitation. Their beliefs are in Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Animism.
As the people live in remote villages far away from educational institutions without any awareness on modern and quality education, the literacy level of the people are very low. There are also many school dropouts among indigenous people. Although there are government schools in the area, they don’t function properly to impart good education to children. Moreover, the government schools lack proper infrastructure, sufficient staff and learning facilities for children.
As the result of running children home at Kuru, there is visible sign of decrease in the dropouts among school going children. The Home provides a platform for rural boys to develop their natural talents and abilities. During their stay in the children home, the boys get motivated to pursue higher education and seek government and private jobs. In children home, the inmates get regular nutritious food, accommodation, learning facilities and health care to remain physically and morally fit so that they can excel in their academic performance in the school.
The boys in the Children Home reside one kilometer away from the school which is run by the Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo. In the home, the children get a Christian formation and moral education. They are also constantly guided to live sacramental life. The children receive special classes both in the morning and in the evening especially in their weak subjects to help them improve their academic performance.
Presently, the Children Home at Kuru is able to provide residential facilities for 102 rural School going children. The parents of the children contribute towards educating their children by purchasing School uniform, books, note books and School stationery. The parents visit their children periodically to know about their health and academic performance.
Started in 1952, Kutela Mission Center is the first mission of Pallottine Fathers and Brothers in India. It is located 165 kms from Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh state. It is well connected by a broad road that makes the travel easy now-a-days. The parish of Kutela belongs to the Archdiocese of Raipur which was started as an Apostolic Prefecture by Pallottine Fathers and Brothers seven decades ago.
The Mission Center at Kutela was started by German Pallottine Fathers who came as missionaries to India. The Pallottine Fathers and Brothers sowed the seed of missionary apostolate many years ago. The work has now grown large and is able to provide pastoral work for thousands of people in villages and education for children in the area.
Dalit population is predominant in Kutela mission area. Apart from doing marginal and unsustainable farming, Dalit families mainly earn their livelihood by working for landlords in their villages as daily wage labourers. Some of them are professional drum players who accept invitations to play drums during marriages and public functions.
To improve literacy in the area, the German Pallottine Fathers & Brothers started a school and a children home at Kutela. The children’s home at Kutela with 120 inmates is a help for boys from distant villages who come to study in schools at Kutela managed by Pallottine Fathers and Brothers.
Established in 1973, Kuturuva is a mission station situated 65 kms away from Korba, the district headquarters and 250 kms away from Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh and headquarters of the Archdiocese of Raipur. Kuturuva is surrounded by hills, mountain ranges, valleys, small streams and dense forests. The area is mostly inhabited by indigenous people whose livelihood depends on unsustainable shifting cultivation and income from small forest produces.
Bharat Mata School
indeed blessing for poor parents who cannot afford to send their children to towns for education. Apart from the boys and girls of children homes, the children of neighbouring villages attend the school which was started in 1980 and managed by Pallottine Fathers & Brothers. The school caters to almost 500 rural children mostly belonging to indigenous communities from nearby villages. As benches and desks are yet to be provided in the school, the children sit on the floor to attend classes.
Children Homes in Kuturuva
Kuturuva parish serves 135 boys and 57 girls in Children Homes. The home for girls is managed by the Community of Sisters. However, financial support is given to the Sisters by the parish. Teachers are appointed to give special classes for children to improve their academic performance in the school. The children in the home get regular nutritious food, accommodation, learning facilities and health care. They remain physically and morally fit to excel in their academic performance in the school. In the children homes, both the boys and girls get opportunity with extra-curricular activities to discover their talents and nurture them.
Construction of a new building for children home
The old building of the children home for boys is in a dilapidated condition and therefore a new building is planned to be constructed soon to give better facilities for boys who come to the school from remote villages. More spacious building with adequate facilities will provide children better atmosphere for studies. Along with improving living facilities for children, it is also planned to introduce steam cooking system in the kitchen of the children homes.
The mission parish of Madanpur in the Archdiocese of Raipur was started in 1973 as the forest area had many villages belonging to indigenous families. As the parish is situated in a forest region, people of the area mainly depend on seasonal and unsustainable farming in addition to collecting forest produces for their livelihood. In 1978, the Archdiocese entrusted the parish of Madanpur to the Pallottine community to take care of pastoral needs of indigenous people who live in 22 villages surrounding Madanpur.
Children Home at Madanpur
In addition to pastoral care of the indigenous people in the area, the parish makes continuous efforts to improve the living conditions and literacy of people, especially the young generation. In view of providing literacy to children of the area irrespective of creed, the parish started a children home in 1979.
Specially appointed teachers take morning and evening classes for children in the children’s home of Madanpur prior to going to attend the government school in the village and after returning from the school.
As the children have no seating arrangement at children home, they sit on the floor to attend special morning and evening classes and also to do their homework. Due to shortage of electricity, the children do their studies in the dormitory. The dining hall for children is an open shed near the kitchen. Every year 85 boys from different villages benefit from the facilities given to them in the children home.
Although the admission to children home is done irrespective of religion, the majority of the inmates come from Catholic families. The children attend Eucharistic celebration and practice devotions such as rosary daily. After the school hours, the children get opportunity to play games and do some manual work. Regular and nutritious food keeps the children physically fit to carry out their responsibilities.
Morga is a remote mission parish in the Archdiocese of Raipur and is situated 65 kms away from Katghora, the neighbouring town in the district of Korba in Chhattisgarh state. It was established in 1975.The state highway connects Morga with the city of Bilaspur and towns of Katghora and Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh. Although the panchayat tries to connect the villages with all-weather roads, some villages in the forest can be accessed by foot only. The area is dominated by indigenous people practicing Hinduism, Christianity and Animism. Morga parish has 12 Catholic villages to be cared for. The work of evangelization in neighbouring villages of Morga was the objective in starting the mission almost five decades ago.
The people in villages are mostly marginal farmers who cultivate seasonal crops such as paddy, maze and pulses which depend on rains.As there was no school in the area prior to the entry of missionaries, the illiteracy level of the people is very high. The catholic population in villages are exceptional as far as education is concerned because they easily got admission to other children homes in the neighboring towns.
The developmental works in rural areas of the parish become difficult due to prevailing caste system and the unjustifiable gap between the rich and the poor. With the availability of education through the missionary schools, there is more awareness among people and the change is gradually happening in rural areas.
To help the children to get academic excellence, Pallottine Fathers and Brothers run a High School, children homes for girls and boys. To facilitate easy access to health care for rural people, the Sisters run a dispensary. The children home for boys provides infrastructural and learning facilities for 135 boys from the neighbouring villages. The children both boys and girls study at Nehru Smarak High School in the church complex.
Recently a multi-purpose hall is under construction at Morga to provide better facilities for boys in children home. The hall under construction is intended to serve as a dining hall, study hall and a place for conducting cultural events and meetings.
The students of the children home begin their day with prayer and Eucharistic celebration. They use study hours in the morning in preparation for classes in the school. After the school hours, the children make themselves busy in games and manual work. Prayer, classes in the school, games and manual work give the children an integrated growth spiritually, physically and intellectually.
Presently, Fr. Jerome Lakra SAC is the parish priest of Morga parish. He is also responsible for managing the children home for boys. The personnel from the Provincial headquarters at Raipur monitor the Children home at Morga and provides support and necessary guidance from time to time.
Situated about 106 kms from Korba, the district quarters, Passan is a remote mission centre in the Archdiocese of Raipur. The parish of Passan which was started in 1983 covers 10 villages in thick forest with people practicing Hinduism, Christianity and Animism. The people of the area are mostly indigenous who cultivate paddy, maze and pulses for which they depend on uncertain rains.
The school building that cares for the literacy of the area has classes till eighth grade for boys and girls who come from neighboring villages. The elementary school children sit on the floor to attend classes and do evening studies while the children studying in the middle school are provided with desks and benches for their use during school hours. Passan is a remote village and therefore the school strength is mainly due to children who are admitted to children homes both for boys and girls.
Mission center was started mainly for the work of evangelization and improvement of literacy of people in the villages around Passan. In view of providing education to indigenous children of the area, a children home was started in Passan. Children home for boys is managed by Pallottine Fathers while children home for girls is managed by the sisters of the Mercy of the Holy Cross. Almost 70 percentage of children studying in the school are accommodated in children homes that provides adequate sleeping facilities for children. However, the children have to go to the classrooms in the school for their morning and evening studies.
As the children do not have a dining hall, they take their meals in the open shed next to the children home. A multi-purpose hall is under construction to help the children have their meals in a closed atmosphere. Moreover, the hall will also serve as a community hall for meeting and conducting cultural programs during festivals and special occasions.
There were 125 boys in the children’s home during the academic year 2016-2017. The inmates of the home get an integrated spiritual, intellectual and physical formation. The formation of children is enhanced by prayer, nutritious food, sports, games, manual labour, special evening classes and periodical cultural activities.