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Our Patron

His Excellency Mar Mathew Arackal, Bishop of Kanjirapally is the patron of the school. He is largely responsible for the high- soaring growth of our ‘Citadel’. ‘ His motto is to have life and have it abundantly’.

BISHOP

Diocese of Kanjirapally, Kottayam District, Kerala

PROFILE

Date of birth:           December 10, 1944

Place of birth:          Erumeli, Kottayam Dist, Kerala

Nationality:              Indian

Present Address:     Pastoral Centre

Kanjirapally – 686 507

Kottayam Dist., Kerala, India

Telephone:               04828-206040, 202906, 202665

Fax:                            04828-206022

E-mail:                       bishoparakal@hotmail.com, kplyeparchy@gmail.com  

Life’s Mission

  • To serve humanity, upholding a spiritual heritage and affirming the traditions of social justice with unflinching love of God.
  • To promote the sustainable, holistic and progressive life of marginal farmers, rural women, aboriginals, tribals and the less privileged children.
  • To systematically initiate welfare schemes based on scientific and practical knowledge alongside professional principles of ethics with increasing professionalism and individualism.
  • To remove stigmatization that leads to social exclusion and creation of a separate social class of people categorized as being below the poverty line.
  • To provide forums for exchange of ideas, information, and mutual cooperation between like-minded organizations the world over.

SERVICE TO HUMANITY

Social Development

  • Organized labourers of Amboori, an undeveloped village in Trivandrum District, and founded the first ever labourers’ co-operative society in Kerala – 1972. This society functioned as Contractor in the construction of Neyyar Dam Canal, Trivandrum, as its first project.
  • Founded the Reed and Cane Workers’ Co-operative Society in Amboori and served as its Founder -President in 1972.
  • Piloted youth movements addressing social issues in Amboori and established a Youth Centre for rural development – 1972.
  • Launched dairy and poultry projects for rural women of Amboori, under Peringadivila Block in Neyyattumkara Taluk, Trivandrum District – 1973.
  • Initiated a family sponsorship program for 1200 destitute families in the Archdiocese of Changanacherry, Kottayam Dt. – – 1974.
  • Settled labour disputes between the Management and estate workers in Peermade Taluk, Idukki Dt – 1980, 1986, 1990.
  • Initiated a Family Sponsorship Program in 1983, bringing together an Austrian Community of 750 sponsor families each supporting one recipient family. The present monthly grant to 1200 beneficiary families is Rs 500,000/-.
  • Since 1986, provided 11000 habitats to poor families in rural areas of Idukki and Kottayam Districts.
  • Set up 2200 biogas plants for rural families in Idukki and Kottayam Dts. to date.
  • Provided 14,500 smokeless ovens (choolas) in rural homes, to date
  • Constructed 2500 rainwater harvesting tanks in homesteads in drought-prone areas of Idukki District – 1992 onwards.

NEW INITIATIVES

Development of Aboriginals and Indigenous Tribes

  • Conducted a study on the situation of aboriginals in Peermade Taluk as the Coordinator of the Harijan and Tribal Welfare Department, Diocese of Kanjirapally – 1978-1979.
  • Organized consultations with national level experts for the development of aboriginals, tribals and downtrodden communities in Peermade and Udumbanchola taluks in Idukki Dt. –1982
  • Prepared a master plan for the integrated development of aboriginals, submitted the proposal to various funding agencies and resource mobilization organizations and obtained financial assistance for their empowerment. –1983-1984
  • Started an Entrepreneur Development Program in Idukki District with the assistance of Central and State Governments and other agencies – 1983.
  • Launched a Training–cum-Production Unit for Woodcraft at Peermade in 1985. This unit provides employment to the tribal youth of Peermade and Udumbanchola Taluks.
  • Established two hostels exclusively for tribal girls at Kumily and Vallakadavu in Idukki Dt. as part of the Aboriginals Development Program of the Diocese of Kanjirapally – 1985-1986.
  • Started a fully mechanized Laundry Unit as an income-generating program for the tribal girl’s hostel at Kumily – 1987.
  • Studied extensively and synthesized, knowledge in tribal and rural medicine, Ayurveda and other bio-friendly, unorganized alternative medical systems existing among the indigenous people of Idukki Dt.
  • Utilized the availability of genuine medicinal herbs in the tribal areas and promoted their sustainable utilization through wild-crafting, cultivation, harvesting and processing in participation with tribal communities and local farmers of Idukki.

Social service Institutions

  • Established the Peermade Development Society (PDS) in Peermade Taluk – 1978. A top-rated voluntary Non-Governmental Organization in the field, it enjoys the status of ‘Centre of Excellence’ conferred by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
  • Elevated PDS to the status of a regional resource center and nodal agency for the whole of South India, for top-notch organizations such as National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Council for Advancement of Peoples Action and Rural Technology (CAPART), Rashtriya Mahila Khosh (RMK) etc. –1996-1997
  • Promoted Kuttikkanam Milk Producers’ Co-op Society, Idukki Dt. –1979
  • Played a key role in the formation of Kalluvayalil Pappen Memorial Charitable (KPMC) Trust, Nallathanny in Peruvanthanam Taluk, Idukki District – 1982. The Trust has 60 hectares of land, developed into a full-fledged training-cum-demonstration farm for the small farming communities.

Educational Institutions

  • Founder and Patron, Amal Jyothi College of Engineering, Kanjirapally (2001) – a top-rated new generation Engineering College in the State offering five PG programs and the highest B.Tech. intake in seven branches of engineering. The dignitaries who attended the major activities of the College in 2010-2011 include, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Former President of India, Sri. Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sri. Vayalar Ravi, D. Purendeshwari, all Union Ministers et al.  The College has been consistent toppers at national level engineering project
    contests at Innovation Hub, Calcutta, since 2007; and Techtop, Trivandrum in 2011.
  • Founder and Patron, Marian College, Kuttikkanam, Peermade started in 1995 and rated as “A College with Potential for Excellence” by the UGC. The college was awarded “A grade” (2009). Tie-ups with reputed companies like Red Hat, Linux, Microsoft, ipsr solutions ltd., IBM, Sun Microsystems, etc. enables Marian to keep itself abreast of the latest developments in diverse fields such as Information Technology, Commerce, Social Work and Management. 
  • Founder – Patron, Marian International Institute of Management, Kuttikkanam –2011.
  • Founder – Patron, Amal Jyothi Community College, Koovapally, Kottayam Dt.
  • Founder – Patron Finishing School – Agro-based Programs – Nallathanny.
  • Founder – Patron MMT Nursing College, Mundakayam

Health Care

  • Took over the High Range Medical Centre, Pallikkunnu, Peermade, from the plantation owners for providing better medical care to the poor, especially the estate workers. – – 1982
  • Promoted community health programs through Allopathy and Ayurveda systems of medicines, in Peermade. — 1984
  • Started ‘Sahyadri Ayurvedic Pharmaceuticals’ — 1984. The manufacturing unit has secured ‘Good Manufacturing Practices’ (GMP) certification.  The unit produces 235 different herbal medicines and formulations and has ten patented ayurvedic formulations, with a marketing network through 273 sales outlets all over Kerala, with stockists in every district.
  • Established Sahyadri Ayurveda Hospital, Peermade with 75 beds. – The Hospital is approved by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation since 2001.
  • Started Ayurveda and traditional treatment skills training programs at Peermed — 1994. This program is approved by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi as an accredited academic Diploma course in Ayurveda Panchakarma Therapy with assured placement in health care /hospitality sectors.
  • Successfully negotiated business tie-ups for Sahyadri Ayurveda Extension Services, Peermade, providing Ayurveda doctors, masseurs, and ayurveda medicines, with several internationally reputed Star Hotels chains such as the Taj Group, Leela Kempinsky Group with Hotels/ Resorts in Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore etc.
  • A major treatment centre was started in London in 1995 and another in Atlanta, USA –2006.
  • Set-up an exclusive Ayurveda Panchakarma centre at Peermade in association with the Department of AYUSH, Government of India. – -2007.

Preservation of Indigenous plant species

  • Established a 10-acre Herbal Garden at Peermade for the preservation of endangered and threatened medicinal plants and herbs — 2005. This project is assisted by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India.
  • Started a Raw-Drug Museum at Peermade to educate and highlight the need to revitalize the Ayurveda system of medicines. — 1998. This project is supported by the Dutch Government through the Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions, Bangalore.
  • Propagates unique and indigenous techniques for the conservation and propagation of medicinal plants and herbs through programs funded by Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
  • Conducts a Nursery and Seed Bank of medicinal plants at Peermed — 1996 onwards.

Grama Shilpa and Allied Trades

  • Opened Grama Shilpa, an emporium for Handicrafts, Woodcraft and small-scale industrial products, at Kumily — 1984. This unit provides employment to the tribal youth of Periyar Wildlife Reserve, Thekkady.
  • The emporium opens up avenues for the inmates of the tribal girls’ hostel to sell greeting cards and other hand-made curios made with reed and bamboo.

Bio-Technology and Eco-farming

  • Established two major residential training centers, Thattathikkanam (1995) and Nallathanny (1998), both in Idukki Dt.
  • Started a research division of bio-technology at Thattathikkanam, in. with lab facilities in Biotechnology and Eco–farming — 1996.
  • Set-up a Bio-Manure Testing Unit at Thattathikanam where farmers are provided with various services including training, soil testing and technical support in product development –1998.

Organic Cultivation and Value Addition

  • Took up the challenge and promoted organic farming / eco-restoration, by organizing a consortium of over 5500 farmers with Organic Certification of IMO and SKAL for their farms – – 1998
  • Designed an Organic Tea processing unit, facilitated and partly assisted by the European Union, Brussels, Belgium – 1998
  • Started an organic spices processing unit at Valanjankanam, Idukki Dt. with the approval of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries and the Spices Board, Government of India –-
  • Opened up export channels for spices and allied products of the Sahyadri Farmers Consortium. PDS enjoys the status of being the largest exporter of organic spices in India as certified by the Spices Board, Government of India. It also maintains topmost quality, in the trade rating by International Trade Centre, Geneva,  under the United Nations Organization– -1999
  • Popularized scientific cultivation of vanilla known as the Kandankayam method, across the State.
  • Implemented a novel project in association with Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, wherein 135 species of medicinal plants are conserved. It also helped to conserve the native biodiversity of medicinal plants — 1996.

Promotion of Vermicomposting and Waste Management

  • Promotes prolific use of biomanure and biocontrol agents through Peermed Development Society, since 1988.
  • Involves sixty Self-Help Groups in Kumily Gramapanchayath alone, in the large-scale commercial production of vermicompost.
  • Conducted extensive research with epigeic earthworms and promoted vermicomposting in various districts in Kerala. Progressively, equipped 67 NGOs in the State on the techniques involved in vermicomposting.
  • Trained rural farmers in the “on-farm production techniques” of vermicompost and supplied Eisenia foetida and Eudrillus eugineae worms required for vermicomposting in their farms. From among more than 2700 varieties of earthworms, these two types were identified as voracious eaters of organic wastes.
  • Supplied around 4900 Kg of specialized epigeic earthworms to farmers in Idukki District for compost production.
  • Helped 4480 farmers, since 1986, to construct vermibeds and initiate vermicomposting on their own farms, producing about 2500 tons of vermicompost per year.
  • Initiated Waste Management System in North Paravur Grama Panchayat, Ernakulam Dt. and Kattappana Panchayat, Idukki Dt.

Bio-Control Agents

  • Still conducts research and espouses the precise application of Biological Control Agents (BCAs) which are natural enemies of pests and diseases. This has been very effective in the eco-friendly control and eradication of plant diseases.
  • Propagates large-scale use of Trichoderma, a beneficial fungus, which works aggressively against the disease causing fungus ‘Phytopthora’. It is effective against ‘Wilt’ disease of pepper, ‘Rot’ disease of cardamom and ginger, and ‘Rhizome rot’ of ginger, turmeric; abnormal leaf fall of rubber etc.
  • Started a Microbiology laboratory at Thattathikkanam, exclusively for the research and production of Biological Control Agents — 1996.
  • Conducts training programs, on Bio-Control Agents for 2645 farmers from 56 villages in Idukki Dt. and has supplied 7935 Kg of Trichoderma to the farmers for popularization of the Technology. This is an on-going program since 1997.
  • Promotes Metarhizium anisopliae, Beauveria bassiana and Entomo pathogenic nematode, Heterorhabditis for the complete management of root grubs in cardamom in Idukki Dt. since 1992
  • Has helped 782 farmers in Idukki Dt. to adopt eco-friendly management of root grubs in cardamom in the past. This popularization program is still in progress.
  • Piloted crop biotechnology through tissue culture. This technology is being conveyed to the farmers through a Bio-tech lab actively functioning at Koovapally, Kottayam Dt.
  • Rejuvenated the currently existing disease-prone genetic stock of pepper using cell culture techniques, which ensure pathogen-free stock through nuclear embryogenesis in suspension culture – -2001
  • Initiated in-vitro clonal multiplication of local varieties of mutant bananas and plantains through meristem culture. The improved planting materials have been supplied to over 800 small/ marginal farmers in the district.

Ayurveda

  • Has developed a team to formulate several low-cost medicines namely, Marmari Thaila, Allernil Powder, Wormnil Powder, Karappan Thailam, Panchanamrutham, Soothikamrutham, Dental Powder and Karma Soolari Thailam for location specific diseases in the mountainous regions of Idukki District — 1998
  • Decoded two ancient manuscripts in 1995, with the help of epigraphists and brought out scientific information on the treatment of several diseases especially rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Guided the publication of ‘Keraliya Bala Chikilsa’, an authentic book on ayurvedic pediatric medicine. The data was transcribed from a 100- year old palm leaf scroll. — 1996
  • Conducting extensive studies on medicinal plants. This culminated in the Ayurvedic Division of PDS, producing 235 ayurvedic drugs, including 10 patented products.
  • Manufactures quality medicines using time-tested principles of Ayurveda and other indigenous medical practices.
  • Imparts skill training in Ayurvedic treatments at Peermade since 2000.
  • Set up treatment facilities including mobile clinics in rural locations in Idukki, Kottayam and Pathinamthitta Dts.

New Ayurvedic Products Launched

Promoted research and development in Sahyadri Ayurveda Division and piloted a team, which put together  10 different formulations namely:

  1. Duecare Ointment: An all time remedy for Arthritic pain and swelling
  2. Dasamoolakasari Lehyam: For respiratory complaints.
  3. Sougandhika Snanachoornam: A skin friendly bathing powder, an alternative for soap.
  4. Nalpamara Choornam: Very skin friendly, used for all skin lesions
  5. Podikizhi formulation: Used in Arthritis and joint pain conditions
  6. Dahasamani: An all time herbal drink
  7. Sirasudha Thailam: Very effective remedy for disturbed sleep, loss of sleep and running nose.
  8. Nochipatradi Keram: Very effective in headache
  9. Dasapatra Thailam : Very effective in numbness and pain
  10. Potentiated Medicated oils: Increased efficacy, more shelf life and skin friendly.

Ecology and Natural Resource Management

  • 33615 hectres in Idukki District brought under Watershed Management — since 1991.
  • 7800 rainwater harvesting tanks constructed in homesteads in Idukki and Kottayam Districts — since 1989.
  • 50 check-dams constructed in Idukki District — since 1991.
  • Stream Bank Protection project implemented in 52 locations in Idukki District.
  • Agro-forestry projects carried out in 50 locations in Idukki District alongside watershed management projects. More than 15000 trees of different varieties were planted and nurtured.

Social Service Projects

The following Social Service programs, initiated between 1978 and 2011, have grown to become commercial ventures of national renown:

  1. Sahyadri Ayurvedic Pharmaceuticals , Pallikunnu, Peermed
  2. Sahyadri Ayurvedic Group of Medical Institutions, Peermed
  3. Woodcrafts and Furniture, Peermed
  4. Grama Silpa Emporium, Kumily
  5. Laundry Unit, Thekkady
  6. Organic Spices Export Division, Peermade
  7. Organic Tea Factory, Valanjankanam, Peermade
  8. Organic Manure and Pesticides Production, Thattathikanam

Papers Presented in International and National Forums

  • ‘Pathway to Sustainable Development in a Tribal Village – a Case Study’ – – Colorado State University, USA
  • ‘Rural Development Scenario in India’ – Caritas International, Austria
  • ‘Sustainable Agriculture’ – Rupin Institute, Israel
  • ‘Rain Water Harvesting – a Solution to Arsenic Pollution – Arsenic Conference, Dhaka, Bangla Desh
  • ‘Pro-life and Family’ – Mini Conference, United Nations, New York
  • ‘Science and Technology for Women – a Case Study’ – Annual Consultation Meeting, Techno Bhavan, Govt. of India, New Delhi

Organizations Promoted

As the Founder and Executive Director of PDS, gave training in sustainable development to rural communities. Consequently, grass-root level organizations with specified functions were formed in 65 villages. The organizations thus formed include; Village Development Councils, Credit Unions, Farmers, Youth and Children’s Clubs, Mahila Samghams etc. 

Organizing women into Self-Help Groups (SHG) is another notable achievement. Such SHGs form the nucleus of community development towards micro credit- supported women enterprises. A credit mobilization drive, resulted in an increased propensity to save, and realized over Rs. ten million. Moreover, productive absorption of resources and products was achieved in a few years through 22000 Self-Help Groups.

Institutions – Social and Health Care

  1. Founder – Patron, Peermade Development Society, Peermade
  2. –Do-, Sahyadri Research Institute of Eco-Farming and Rural Technology (SRI) Peermade.
  3. –Do-, Sahyadri Training Centre, Thattathikkanam, Peermade
  4. –Do-, AKJ Memorial Rural Training Centre, Nallathanny, Peermade
  5. –Do-, Home Economics Training Institute, Nallathanny
  6. –Do-, Sahyadri Ayurvedic Research Centre, Pallikunnu, Peermade
  7. –Do-, Sahyadri Institute of Ayurveda Studies, Pallikunnu
  8. –Do-, Sahyadri Research Institute of Bio-Technology, Thattathikkanam

Achievements won by the above Institutions

  • PDS, approved as Core Support Organization under Department of Science and Technology, Government of India 1992-2002. Renewed in 2008
  • PDS, appointed Support Voluntary Organization for Watershed Development Program of the Government of India – 1997
  • PDS, selected Support Voluntary Organization, Carbon Reduction Program in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Pondicherry and Kerala – 1997-2004
  • PDS, approved by Government of India as Support Voluntary Organization for Agro-Forestry measures- 1990 to date
  • PDS, Support Voluntary Organization for carbon reduction under the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
  • Target achieved (by the year 2010) with 11000 houses, 2200 bio-gas plants, 14500 smokeless choolas.
  • PDS, selected for implementation of Integrated Wasteland Development Program – 1998-2004
  • PDS, appointed Nodal Agency of the Government of India for Mahila Khosh – 1999
  • PDS, conferred with the status of ‘Centre for Excellence’ in four core areas instituted by Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
  • PDS, appointed Nodal Agency of National Innovation Foundation, Government of India, for Kerala and Lakshadweep
  • PDS, awarded Status as Nodal Agency under District Industries Council, Govt. of Kerala
  • PDS, appointed Nodal Agency of NABARD for Idukki District
  • PDS and Malanadu Development Society, Award of NABARD for formation of largest number of Small Help Groups, Kerala
  • Awarded by Spices Board, Government of India – Topmost Exporter of Organic Spices in India – 2002-03 & 2005-06

Important Offices Held

  • Expert Member, Prize Committee of the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar (IGPP) for 2010. The Vice-President of India is the Chairman of the Committee, the members being the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Minister for Environment and Forests, the Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and two others of national eminence.
  • Chairman, Rashtra Deepika Ltd., the first Malayalam daily – 2003-2007
  • Chairman, Jeevan Telecasting Corporation Ltd. 2002 – 2007
  • Director and Managing Trustee, KPMC Trust, Nalallathanny – 1979 – 2001.
  • Director, High Range Medical Centre – 1979 – 2001
  • Executive Director, Peermade Development Society – 1979 – 2001
  • Director, Harijan and Tribal Welfare Dept, Diocese of Kanjirappally – 1977 – 2001
  • Director, ‘Save a Family Plan’, Diocese of Kanjirappally – 1977 – 2001
  • Director, ‘Save a Family Plan’ Archdiocese of Changanacherry – 1974-1977

Positions and Recognitions

International Level

  • Award for Social Service conferred by the British City Council, Bristol, Great Britain – 2011
  • Certificate of Recognition awarded by the Missouri House of Representatives, USA – 2007
  • Goodwill Ambassador to the State of Israel – 2006
  • Asia’s Representative to the International Delegates Assembly of Naturland, Germany – 1999-2002.

National

  • Expert Member, Prize Committee of the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar (IGPP) for the year 2010. The Vice-President of India is the Chairman of the Committee, the members being the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Minister for Environment and Forests, the Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and two others of national eminence.
  • Member, Executive Committee, Functional Vocational Training Forum, Bangalore – 2003-2008
  • Member, Task Force, Biological Waste Disposal in Municipal areas 1997-1999
  • Member, Planning Commission Advisory Board, NGO Section, Government of India (1998-2003)
  • Consultant, Ministry of Rural Areas and Employment, Govt. of India 1997-1999
  • Consultant, Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India 1995-1998

State Level

  • Chairman, Rashtra Deepika Ltd. 2003-2007
  • Chairman, Commission for Justice, Peace and Development, Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Conference – 2002 to date
  • Chairman, Jeevan Telecasting Corporation Ltd 2002 – 2007
  • Chairman, Kerala Social Service Forum, of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. –2002 to date
  • Karshakamthiram Award – 2000.
  • Member, Evaluation Team for Watershed Development and Management Program , headed by the Chief Secretary Govt. of Kerala –1996-1997-1998
  • Member, Governing Body, State Council for Education, Research & Training. 1990-1995
  • Member, Kerala State Farming Corporation. 1985-1990
  • Member, Academic Council, General Education, Government of Kerala. 1985-1990
  • Member, Governing Body, Continuing Education Cell, Govt. of Kerala
  • Member, Task Force for Participatory Planning, Government of Kerala
  • Member, Blindness Eradication Cell, Idukki District.
  • Best Social Worker of the State Award instituted Indian Red Cross-– 2000
  • Secretary, Indian Red Cross Society, Idukki District – 1990-2001

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