“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”
Ettikulam, a beautiful landscape, lies in the valley of Ezahimala adjacent to Payyannur Town in Ramenthali village, Kannur District, Kerala State. The greenish hands of Ezhimala glides into the Arabian Sea here. The place is known for his tranquil natural beauty.
Back in 1982 a small group of youth in the area, in age group of 18 to 25 years, pondered what went wrong in shaping the future of their generation. Rigidity of the conventional thoughts prevailed in the society, where they lived, social and economic backwardness of it, inabilities of parents, who had been deprived of education from generation to generation owing to lack of facilities and guidance, to give quality education to their children were the main reasons. It was a vicious circle. They had vowed to do whatever they could to break this circle to save their next generations. The result was “Ettikulam Muslim Educational Society”.
Registered under Society Registration Act 1860 with bare handed nine youths in 1982 , EMES , as it is proudly called by the locales , has passed long thirty years with golden history of selfish less and persistent social works varying from running a CBSE affiliated secondary school to stretching relief hands to the poor and needy, from conducting sports and arts competitions to promoting social fraternity by relentless social campaigns , from organizing medical camps to conducting free tuition classes for students in all sectors of the society. The social, cultural and educational history of Ettikulam , in these thirty years , is intertwined with the abbreviation EMES.
It was not a smooth journey, as these words may imply, the impediments throughout these years were harder than anyone could imagine. It was the unity of the members to accomplish the noble goals set forth in the EMES’ constitution and constant help from the well-wishers that led EMES to reach where it is now.
In two three years of its establishment more members , most of them youngsters in the age group of 18 to 25 years , were admitted to EMES that had given it an incomparable and unprecedented strength. It is truly remarkable when one compare the present day youth, who often gets allured to ideologies that are detrimental to the existence of fraternal and peaceful society. Today EMES has 67 members, who neither belong to the upper strata of the society nor in anyway influential.
EZHIMALA ENGLISH SCHOOL
The journey started with establishing a small nursery school named Mount Dilly Nursery School in a rented small room with around 20 kids and a teacher in 1982. There was no revenue except the meager amount collected from the students as fee. In a community, where school going was considered just a reluctant exercise to spend time till getting married in teenage, in case of a girl , or till the child somehow reaches 10th standard, in case of a boy, the fee structure was to be kept as low as possible. It was generous donations from the well-wishers that helped EMES survive this period of infancy.
Most of the people in the area were fishermen and the rest eked their livelihood by getting employed in Gulf Countries in small jobs. There were no professionally educated persons in the area except one or two. The only way to change the pathetic destiny of the society was to make them aware about the importance of modern education and provide their children with easily affordable means of modern education.
The nursery school was upgraded to Ezhimala English School in 1989 and provisional affiliation from CBSE was obtained in the same year. The strength of the students was around 150 in that time with classes up to 7th standard. The school was working in a small building constructed on a small piece of land, at Ettikulam, owned by EMES. It was just the sheer social commitment of the members that helped EMES acquire this building and the land. Most of the members and the well-wishers contributed generously towards this.
Still, it was a mammoth task to upgrade the school to secondary level with CBSE regulations. Three acres of land and a pacca building with all its facility were to be acquired. Arranging the amount required for this purpose from School revenue, with its lowest fee rates in the entire district, was impossible. The social commitment was at its peak and the members left no stone unturned. The idea of issuing certificates called “Gift Certificate” at a nominal value of Rs 15,000 to the members and other supporters paved way to materialize the many years fondled dream. The school got a land of 3 acres and a building with 10 class rooms.
The first two B Tech degree holders in area were the products of the school. Now there are several degree holders and higher education students in the locality, who are mostly the products of the school.
The school now has 400 students and 25 teachers with classes up to 10th standard and the school is affiliated to CBSE Registration # 930114