Sitting on the Principal's chair and getting ready to write, I am recalling my journey of life and come up with this conclusion that "GOD HAS HIS OWN PLAN" which is very much relevant to that story in the Bible, when Jona never wanted to go to that place where he (God) wanted to send. [Book of Jona, Ch.1-Ch.4]
It is irrelevant and will sound odd on this occasion to mention some of the glimpses of my autobiography.
I was born and brought up in Chatra where my father was a Ranger in forest department and my mother provoked the citizens of Chatra to have a school for the girls as she might have felt at that time the value of the girls education. Our family was the only Christian family and I was brought up in a multi faith environment. Throughout my school age I never felt and realized the value of Christian faith deeply, just towards the end of my mother's service as my father was retired, we got transferred to Hazaribagh and the new life began. Like normal students, I wanted to go for a better administrative job, in fact, I was fascinated to join the army. My parents felt that i will not qualify the written test even, but i qualified. Then the parents opposed. Even they had to call the Parish Priest, Rev. O.K.Tirkey to convince me, and leave this idea and I was told "योद्धा बनना है तो मसीह के योद्धा बनो"And somehow or the other plan for the future prepared by my mind failed and I then decided to become a teacher. That was the only time when I was very much associated with D.C.Y.M. and I could only hear the names of different places in Chotanagpur where D.C.Y.M. was working. And according to His plan I never expected that I would be selected to be a teacher in a prestigeous school, like Bishop Westcott Boys School at Namkom.
While teaching I never realised that what is the depth of the peom which I used to teach; "यह जन्म हुआ किस अर्थ अहो समझो जिसमे यह व्यर्थ न हो, कुछ काम करो कुछ काम करो"It is by the grace of God through Bishop Terom and my Principal Mr R.I.Thronton who allowed me to go abroad and have special training. There again I saw many youngsters getting ready to go to any part of the world as a missionary without having any self behind.This inspired me a lot and before I could return, I was mentally prepared to do something for my Chotanagpur , for the upliftment of the people of Chotanagpur dwelling away from the main stream of education. After returning I expressed my desire to Bishop. He never commented. After constant request, he said , "Try and make the project".I prepared the project for ORMANJHI, LOHARDAGA, BOKARO and HAZIRABAGH. I tried these places practically more than half a year, visiting, organizing, convincing the local people but failed because God has His own plans for me. During the course of hunting the location, sometimes I used to feel lonely, disappointed and think;"Are my authorities want to test my patience, zeal and determination in order to achieve this destination, rather to make a possible way out of impossible track?"
One fine day, Bishop asked me to come to Bishop's lodge. When I arrived I could see three cars ready to go somewhere. I sat down without knowing where is my destination and reached Soeko. Near the parish Priest's house, under the tamarind tree and the surrounding was full of jingle and bushes. And Bishop spoke to me; "This is the place.Do it". Being the Central Secretary of D.C.Y.M. for many years the name of Soeko was not new name for me. But that was the first day when I really visited Soeko to see what it is. And I accepted the order without knowing that this is actually God's plan and wish as I tried many other places but I reached to that place where He wanted to send me.
I don't know that when and where the ad-hoc committee sat for the Soeko project. I came to know that the construction work has been offered to Mr. Anand, under the supervision of MrV.Verma, tje architect.On 12th June, 1991, on the last day of the Diocesan council laying of the foundation for this new venture was fixed. Bishop Terom, along with the Bishop hans and the total ministers of the Holy order arrived at Soeko and in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Bishop Hans, a very old and physically weak person was so excited and could not control himself and he also did the same thing without thinking that the spade is quite heavy.This gave me a special encouragement that even Bishop Hans was also deeply involved in this new venture. We started with the boundary wall and the work started by M/s Anand Construction . I was issued an appointment letter by Bishop, D-8/91,455, dated 31-08-1991 to look after the construction work. It was then it became the need to be present physically at Soeko and thus I arrived to stay here on 3rd Jan 1992. There was no room for me and I used to stay within three walls attached to the boundary and corriugated sheet on the top floor. That was full of thrill, excitement. In the evening when the masons and workers used to leave by 5:00PM, I used to be all alone in the campus with only one lantern, perhaps in the village. But I was not afraid of anything. The construction of main building, Principal's quarter and the well started together. My residence was just next to the well. The house was more or less ready but the well was not ready at all.One night i heard a crack sound and a sound of something fell inside the well.I ran out quickly and found that a big piece of soil of the inner wall of the well fell down and the wall of my house had cracked.During this time, I was always been encouraged by regular visits of Bishop Terom, Miss John and the other members. The same morning Bishop arrived. As usual it was an unexpected visit and I told him the story of the last night.He ordered then and there to stop more digging of the well and to have its stone work done as quick as possible for the inner wall of the well. And that is why we could not go more than 30 feet and it is still one of the big sized well in this area.
As i wanted to start the functioning of the school from 1st July,1992, I was interested to take more and more admissions. One day, a fine lady arrived at my door when I was washing the utensils. And she said she wanted to see the Principal. I was embarrassed. I went quickly, washed and changed my dress and answered her, "Mam, what can I do for you?" Then I decided to have one worker at least to be with me and thus Bagrai Swansi, the first servant of the school came in. I am grateful to Mr.Rohit Samuel, who also wanted to share and help me out in this juncture, stayed with me and we both used to see the construction work going on. One fine day, Mr Chand Lakra arrived on scooter and offered his ervices in order to help me out. He was already at job at Ramgarh, at India Fire Bricks and I was not at all in a position to pay even to feed, Bagrai, Mr Rohit Samuel and Mr Chand Lakra. But he resigned from his job at Ramgarh and joined me without expecting anything with a great hope, a day will definitely come when everything will be normal.'Thus, he took over the charge of the office.We conducted admission test, without the office as the school building was not yet ready and the ballies, bamboos and the roof casting was not yet removed. But I got a good response on the first admission test.After the declaration of the first admission test, Mr Bhagwati Tiwari of Gopalganj, handed over the first fee for the first boy, Rupesh Kr Tiwari and took the admission. I appreciate the strong willingness of Mr Tiwari and could feel how he must have felt, leaving his son as a boarder to a school which is not ready.In the May 1992 itself, Mrs Shaw joined me and family left Namkom and reached Soeko.Children were very small but they were very happy. Many of my friends at Namkom did not like the idea of my wife's resignation and shifting to Soeko. And they tried their level best to convince my wife not to resign and go; "Let him be there as he is a mad person.He is playing with his future and his children's future.If the school will not run there, how your children will survive".All these arguments went in vain when she really left Namkom, the comfort and the future of the children and joined me and accepted the challenge with the family.On 25th June, the building was more or less ready and Bishop Terom, Diocesan Authority, Principal's and the children arrived for the inauguration of this new school. On the second half of the day, we had the interview for the first set of the staff and Ms.Ratna Dadel, Ms. Ashwina Kerketta, Ms.Usha Mundri , Mt Arunabha Kar, Mr Silas Purty were selected as first teaching staff, Mr D Francis as a warden, Mrs M. Francis as a matron and Mrs N. Shaw as an estate-manager-cum-nurse-cum-officer looking to the domestic affairs and finally Mr C.K.Ranjan Lakra as an accountant.By that time we had 26 children to start with.Everybody officially joined on 1st July, 1992. All the 26 children arrived before that and again Bishop Terom and Bishop Hans took the first class. I remember Bishop Hans teaching to the children, taught them a game called "Do this, Do that" which ended up with these words; "First hear properly, then react". I think this was the first lesson of then.The first set of staff was very good, all the lady teachers used to manage in one room in my quarter and the second room was occupied by Mr Lakra and in the third room we used to stay.The other gents staff used to stay in the dormitory as there was no room.There are very fine things to remember and recall.Every day we used to kill two or three snakes and after it became so common that the children and the staff used to stay it a; "Uncle's visit" which is still pronounced by the students here but these visits have become very rare now.Other interesting thing which I remember , one evening Mr Arunabha Kar came running to me and shouted; "Sir, many,many people are coming from different corners with the dauli(a local weapon) in their hands. Sir, I am scared the are going to harm us.They are not liking us, It is quite possible that their intention is not good.They may harm our children and us".I ran quickly, came out and really saw the crowd as had explained.It was dusk and I saw them sitting around the school campus, which was suspicious. Suddenly we put the generator on, tube lights switch on and then I could hear the yell full of joy and the excitement outside the campus. Later on, I was told that they have come to see the light. They never arrived to harm us.They were there till he generator was on and when it was put off they went away slowly.This continued for several days.Many times people under the influence of liquor used to enter inside and sometimes we had to drive when the gents staff used to awake all night as guards and the ladies staff used to be in one place in order to offer tea every hour. Another incident I remember since the roof was not properly covered, one day it rained very heavily and the rain water entered our classroom and the office and right from the Principal to the bottom, had to use broom to make out the water from the building. This disturbed us a lot and gents' staff decided to keep their shorts ready for those occasions.Wonderful co-operation and understanding I recall. The number increased and we were in the sound position.Many arrived and many left .many brochures in disguise from other schools arrived and joined and I had to loose many students also.
To obtain N.O.C. became a very difficult task and we had to ssend our two batches out, according to I.C.S.E. Board, no school can start Class IX. This was another shocking incidence. Finally,I got the N.O.C on 6th August 1999, informed the Council, representative of the Council inspected the school and the school got the Provisional Affiliation from the Council on 9th March 2000.The first batch of this school appeared for their final exams from 1st March 2002.
On this occasion I wish to thank these Ladies & Gentlemen for their various help, co-operation and encouragement;
The Most Rt.Rev Z.J.Terom, Mrs L.Terom; Mr R.I.Thronton; Miss V.Pankaj; Late Miss S.John; The RtRev.O.K.Tirkey; Mr R.B. Barnes; Mr C.K.R. Lakra; Mr A. Anand; Mr V.Verma; Mr Rohit Samuel; Salem group of music; Mrs N.Shaw and all my daughters and only son;Parents, friends and finally the first set of staff and the servants.Without them it would have been difficult tp come across the years which has been passed.