Sisters of Mercy of Holy Cross

Holy Cross Convent, Nedumkandam

Purpose

  • To promote vocations
  • To provide job oriented courses such as tailoring, Secretarial course etc.
  • After few months of prayer and discernment it was decided to begin CBSE School as the felt need of the time for the settlers’ children.

Socio -cultural background of the place:
Nedumkandam was known as backward hilly place of Idukki district of Kerala, border of Tamil Nadu. As a result of Second World War there was poverty and unemployment in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. To overcome these, people from Kottayam, Ernakulam, Alleppy etc. began to migrate to the mountain ranges in large numbers from 1948 onwards. Wild animals, cluster of hills with huge trees and thick quashes, heavy rain, extreme cold, deaths due to epidemic etc were the features of the place at that time. There were no transport facilities, electricity, medical facility, churches or educational institutions. Malayalis in groups cleared the forests fighting with wild animals, biting cold, sought the help of Tamil workers of the British estate cultivated coffee, pepper, tea and cardamom. As years passed civilization began, population increased, government took care of the settlers in giving registration of the land acquired by them. Economy grew with all developments, also with the support of the churches, Hindu temples and mosques.  Schools for primary and upper primary began in short time, children walked miles through the hills and forest and for higher studies. They were sent to other districts  in  Kerala, Tamil Nadu and other states of India.Now after 65 years, Nedumkandam is quite well developed Town, with mixed culture of Malayalis and Tamils. Development has taken place in every sphere and economy has grown due to the high production of cash crops like pepper, coffee, tea, cardamom etc.

Community and areas of apostolate now

Apostolate: Education, Boarding, Pastoral Work, Farm
There are seven sisters in the community. They run a CBSE School: classes from KG – XII having 1300 students. The sisters are also engaged in the parish catechism, animating prayer groups, visiting families of parishners, students, staff etc. They have few students in the boarding. There is a land of 4 acres from where they get mostly pepper, coffee and some vegetables and fruits.

Challenges:

  • Advanced media and infra structure facilities have caused the degradation of moral and ethical values. Alcoholism in families and broken marriages affect the studies of children and they lack interest, concentration and motivation.   
  • Climate change (drought) affects crops, prize fluctuation in cash crops affect their school fees, and we face financial problem to pay government salary to staff, unsteady staff,quality of the staff is poor though qualified.
  • Interference of state government on CBSE schools like inspection of school records, payment of salary, qualification of staff, school income etc. also is a challenge.

Hopes/ Visions for future:

  • To bring up the standard of the school with regard to result and quality
  • To give more counseling to students, parents and youth.
  • To have more pastoral involvement