2017-04-22 11:07:00

Catholic education completes 25 years in Arunachal Pradesh

The Diocese of Miao in northeast India is marking 25 years of Catholic education in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The first Catholic school and hostel in the state were opened on 3rd July 1992 in Borduria village in Tirap District. The land for it was offered by Mr. Wanglat James Lowangcha.  Saint Mother Teresa on 2nd August 1993 visited the place where her Missionaries of Charity today run a shelter for women, as the school had to be shifted to a bigger facility.

The educational wing of the Diocese, Newman Educational Society conducted a survey of the progress made by the Catholic Church in the educational field in the region in the past 25 years.  The diocese runs a total of 28 hostels for children ranging from Kindergarten (KG) to degree level. The total of number of students is 2605 of which 1150 are girls and 1455 are boys. Most of these hostels cater to children from remote villages where there are no schools. "It is sad too in a way to snatch these lovely kids from their parental care, but they are forced into as the parents and children want a good education at the early stage itself", said Bishop George Pallipparambil of Miao who with the help of Wanglat, started the first hostel 25 years ago.

What Bishop Pallipparambil, as a priest, along with lay people George Joseph and Martha Kapalomie started in a lowly hut in 1992, has today grown into a network of educational institutions.  Miao Diocese, which covers eight civil districts of eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh, has 45 schools, with 631 teachers, catering to the educational needs of 18558 poor tribal children in the remote corner of India bordering Myanmar and China. Arunachal Pradesh’s two dioceses of Itanagar and Miao, both erected by Pope  Benedict XVI in 2005, together run more than 85 schools and 4 degree colleges, including in distant villages.

"Looking back at those days 25 years ago, in a temporary bamboo house, with no water, electricity and … facilities, with 28 small boys in the hostel and 58 in school and the physical and mental agony that we went through, I feel it was all worth as we see two generations of young men and women climbing the ladder of life,” Bishop Pallipparambil fondly recalled. “It was a challenge.  There were threats, elements of jealousy but faith and love helped us to surpass all those. My hats off to the people of Borduria who made it all possible" the 62-year old bishop said.   "We want to give them the best of what we can with the little they have and all that we can mobilize", remarked Fr. Anil Moc of Kulam, an interior village in Tirap District.  Miao Diocese has included its educational outreach in its pastoral action plan for 2025 that it has been working upon over the past year.  

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