Bonakal is a plain land area situated in the periphery of Khammam Dist., Mandal, with a few villages around. It is at present located in the boundary of the newly formed state of Telangana bifurcated from Andhra Pradesh state. The people of the area mainly depend upon agriculture and cattle rearing for their livelihood. It was the dream of the first provincial administration to begin an educational institution in the then state of Andhra Pradesh, knowing well the different situations and needs of the place; cultural, financial, educational, etc.
Two acres of land was purchased in the beginning with the collaboration of some of our individual members of the province (Fr. Saji Thomas Pamplaniyil and Fr. Mathew Vengaloor) and later on another acre was purchased after settling a family dispute on the land. With the initiative of the provincial administration, foundation stone was laid for a primary school on 7th November, 2010, by Rev. Fr. Siby Peedikayil, then provincial superior. The construction was completed in a short period and was blessed on 23rd July 2011 by His Ex. Most Rev. Paul Maipan, Bishop of Khammam and inauguration by Rev. Fr. Siby Peedikayil, then Provincial Superior. This is the process how St. Mary’s English Medium School, Bonakal, Telangana came into existence.
We believe that it was in the divine plan to complete the project with a hostel each for boys as well as girls in the same premise. With the initiative and collaboration of Rev. Fr. Mervin Varayankunnel and his close collaborators namely, Dr. Jan Verhoeven, we began the construction of a boys’ hostel on 30th September, 2013 with the laying of foundation stone by Rev. Fr. Siby Peedikayil. And the same St. Mary’s boys’ hostel was blessed and inaugurated in the following year June 17, 2014 by Most Rev. Paul Maipan and Rev. Fr. A. Francis, then Superior General HGN, respectively. Taking into consideration the need of the time, it was thought better to have also a girls’ hostel in the same campus and the work progressed and completed in the year 2015, June 13: blessed by Most Rev. Paul Maipan and inaugurated by Rev. Fr. M. Ignatius, the Superior General of HGN, in the presence of Rev. Dr. Saji Sebastian, the provincial superior of St. Paul Province and many other fathers and religious of the surrounding. In order to administer the girls’ hostel and to help the school, we sought the help of different religious communities and St. Joseph sisters of St. Mark responded positively and took charge on the same day.
Soon after the blessing and inauguration of the hostels, it was thought to have a common kitchen and refectory in the middle, connecting both hostels. The work progressed steadily and completed in time. This multi-purpose hall and laundry was blessed by Rev. Fr. M. Ignatius, the superior general HGN, and inaugurated by Dr. Jan Verhoeven, the main collaborator of this mission from the Netherlands on June 27, 2016.
St. Mary’s English Medium School, Bonakal, in the newly formed state of Telangana serves the people, especially the children of the surrounding villages with discipline, excellence and moral credibility. There are now around 330 students in the school till primary level and the administration plans to begin high school in the coming years. There are also children residing in both the hostels the strength of which varies every year. We thank the almighty for the successful completion of this project along with Fr. Mervin, Dr. Jan Verhoeven and his associates from the Netherlands. Our priests who are appointed in these institutions, with the help of sisters and teachers, work hard with enthusiasm and commitment, to bring success to the institution. The school is committed in giving holistic education to the children of the surroundings. Gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the priests who served the school, despite the challenges, especially Frs. Saji Thomas Pamplaniyil, Joji Olickal, Francis Medanki, Paulose Manickathan and Mathew Kalpakassery.
We are grateful to San Luigi Onlus for their valuable support for the the construction of the St.Mary's School in the initial phase.