YESU PREM NIKETAN

 

The History of Yesu Prem Niketan Convent (1991) is intertwined with the life and the growth of the Special Children, the mentally and physically challenged. The Sisters are deeply committed to their mission and are indeed channels of God’s compassionate love bringing joy in the lives of the disabled and their families and the tiny tots through the respective Institutions, the Special School and Vocational Training Centre, Teacher Training Centre for Special Education and St. Agnes Preparatory and Play School.

St. Agnes Special School for the mentally disabled with its motto “In Love We Grow” was started in 1970, as a Centenary Memorial of the Apostolic Carmel Congregation, with six children on roll in the ‘Rest’ a cozy house at St. Agnes Convent campus, as the service Project of the St. Agnes College.  The opening of the School sparked rays of hope in the life of the mentally and physically challenged children who were a neglected lot.

The School educates, taps and develops the potentialities of the Differently Abled Children and Youth both girls and boys, from the age of 3 - 50, with its Early Intervention, Academic, Pre-vocational, Vocational, Home Science and Computer Training Programmes.

To accommodate the increasing number of students, the Management decided to have a separate building for the Special School and the venue selected, was the land opposite side of the St. Agnes Convent entrance gate, facing the main road.  The foundation stone of the school building was laid on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee celebration of St. Agnes College in the year 1972.  Mr. Bhadrinarayana, the Minister for Education, Karnataka, inaugurated the School building on 15 June 1973.

In the course of time in order to provide job oriented training for adult students, a Vocational Training Centre (VTC) was constructed at the left end corner of the campus with the financial help from the Ministry of Social Welfare, Government of India and Action Aid. The centre with its production unit prepares exercise books, envelopes, carpentry articles, teaching aids, greeting cards, phenol, chalk and other fancy articles. The trainees are paid according to the amount of work they are able to do.
    
For the effectiveness of the apostolate it was felt that the Sisters of St. Agnes Community working in the Special School should have a separate community in the School campus. Hence a Convent named ‘Yesu Prem Niketan’ was built and formally inaugurated on 1 June 1991. Sister Maria Jyothi was appointed as the Sister-in-Charge and the four pioneering community members were Sisters Benedicta Baretto, Lily Pinto, Marie Dulcine and Swarupa.
Life during the first few years at Yesu Prem Niketan had hardships and difficulties for the pioneering sisters. Yet the joy of living together with a common goal was evident. With their hearts gripped with the love of God, they faced every problem or difficulty bravely. They spent their time, talents and energy generously and joyfully in serving the disabled children with love and dedication.
    
As the Special School progressed steadily, a need for the extension of the School building to accommodate the increasing numbers of pupils seeking admission was inevitable. On 19 March 1992 the foundation stone for the building was blessed and laid by Rev. Fr. Gregory Da Cruz, the Parish Priest of St. Sebastian’s Church, Bendur.
 
Another mile stone in the History of the Special School was the inauguration of the Teacher Training Institute (TTI) for Special Education on 8 June 1992. This training course is conducted by the Karnataka Parents Association for the Mentally Retarded Citizens (K.R.M.R.C.) Bangalore, and recognized by the Government of Karnataka. This certificate course was changed into Diploma in Mental Retardation (DMR) affiliated to the National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped, Secunderabad, and recognized by the Rehabilitation Council of India on 3 June, 1994.

God blessed the dedicated and loving labour of Sister Maria Jyothi the Principal of the School and staff with the ‘Best Institution Award’ on 21 March, 1993. The citation reads thus – “This State Award is presented to St. Agnes Special School, Mangalore, in public acknowledgment and testimony of its exemplary services in promoting the welfare of persons with disabilities and their families”.
 
In the course of time, B.Ed. Special Education and Post Graduate Professional Certificate Course in Special Education both - Distance Mode Programmes started in the year 2002 to develop professionals for special education within a broad perception of the role of specially trained professionals as agents of change in the prevailing and emerging IT Revolution and Globalization.
    
On 4 August 1994 the Silver Jubilee celebration of St. Agnes Special School, marked the Opening of the Silver Jubilee Memorial - Special School Extension Block which was blessed by Rt. Rev. Dr. Basil D’Souza, the Bishop of Mangalore, and inaugurated by Sri Bharathlal Meena IAS, the D.C. of Mangalore.

As the sisters of the community were living in the school premises, the pressing need was to have a Convent of their own. After obtaining the necessary permission from the Superior General, Sister Mariella and the Local Ordinary, the construction work of the Convent building was undertaken on 22 October 1995. The Convent building and the Chapel was inaugurated and blessed on 21 January 1997 by Rt. Rev. Dr. Aloysius P. D’Souza, Bishop of Mangalore.
 
Another new venture was to start a Computer Training Centre and provide residential facilities for the Teacher and Computer Trainees. The foundation stone of the building was laid on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel 16 July 1998. The building was sponsored by the Kuwait Canara Welfare Association (KCWA) Kuwait.

St. Agnes Special School was selected as an Accredited Study Centre of the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). The Study Centre prepares the drop out students from regular schools and the Differently Abled students to answer the Secondary and Senior Secondary examinations. The admission is done through St. Ann’s Pre-University College. St. Agnes Special School also prepares students to answer the Secondary Level Examinations of the Karnataka Open School (KIOS).

The transfer of St. Agnes Preparatory School and Play Home from St. Agnes Convent to the Management of Yesu Prem Niketan by the Provincial Superior Sister Linette and the Council in the year 1996 was gratefully welcomed. The tiny tots occupied the utilized the Vocational Training Centre initially. At present they occupy the newly constructed building which was inaugurated on 16 July 2016.

The Sisters of Yesu Prem Niketan Community along with the lay staff members continue to live up to the educational thrust entrusted to them to cater to the needs of around 300 disabled students with love and dedication. They are also involved in teaching Catechism, distributing Communion, SCC meetings, and liturgy in the Parish Church. Some of the younger sisters are getting trained and qualified for their future ministry and a few retired senior sisters form the prayer and suffering force.

Contact Details:
Yesu Prem Niketan
St. Agnes Special School
P.B. No.587, Bendore
Mangaluru – 575 002
Karnataka
Ph. No. (0824) 2443580
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Superiors:

 

1.Sister Maria Jyothi A.C.
1991-1996

 

2.Sister Florine Pinto A.C.
1996-1999

3.Sister M. Marcian A.C.
1999-2002

 

4.Sister Maria Kripa A.C.
2002-2005

5.Sister Valeriana A.C.
2005-2011

6.Sister M. Olivia A.C.
2011-2014

7.Sister Maria Shruthi A.C.
2014-2017

 

8.Sister Maria Anita A.C.
2017-

       
       
       
       

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