HISTORY OF CARMEL CONVENT, RAIGARH (M.P.)
YEAR OF FOUNDATION – 01-07-1956
Raigarh is a small town in M.P. under Bilaspur division. As it is the headquarters of Raigarh District, it has some importance of its own. A look at this district 30 years ago bring before us a vast area covered with jungles. In these jungles there lived the scheduled caste the scheduled Tribes known as Advasis. These people were simple, uneducated and were oppressed by other caste – the landlords and merchants who lived in the town. The outskirt of the town thee lived the Harijans who believed firmly in witchcraft and other evil practices.
As the missionaries started penetrating into this part of the world to spread Christ’s message among these people and to raise them up from their low position, the then Mother General Rev. Mother Alphonsus also responded to the call of God to work among them.
Mother Alphonsus sent five sisters namely Sr. Thecla, Sr. Archange, Sr. Xavaria, Sr. Crescentia and Sr. Anne Therese to start a convent at Raigarh. As our main apostolate was education the school was opened in a small rented house. After sometime it was shifted to a shed, which was a dyeing factory. The school was opened to all but mainly meant for the Harijans and Adivasis. As the faith of these Catholics was very weak, the sisters took great care to strengthen them in their faith. Sunday services were conducted in the convent chapel They worked hard for the improvement of the people. Inspite of the financial and other difficulties, the convent and the school expanded. A new building was put up for the primary section.
God’s providential care gave sisters the strength to go forward in the midst of difficulties. A boarding was opened for the poor children. Tribal girls from far out villages were admitted here.They had to be instructed and forced to send their children for education. Sr. Irene and Sr. Fortunata worked with great zeal to impart knowledge to the little ones. By then the people of the locality also began to change their attitudes towards the sisters seeing their untiring service in the cause of giving education to their children.
As the years passed by, there was great awakening among the people of Raigarh of their religion and culture. More and more Tribal children started coming to the school. The sisters tried to improve them in many ways without forgetting their cultural background. The next superior Sr. Maureen also contributed much for the development of the convent and school. A new convent building was put up. 1981 was a memorable year for all who were in some way or other attached to Carmel, for it was the 25th year of its foundation. A solemn thanksgiving service was arranged. Most of the sisters who have worked here, the parishioners and the parents of the students rejoiced and thanked God on this occasion for the innumerable blessings He has bestowed on this Institution. The untiring work of Sr. Corsina has contributed much for the growth of this institution.
We hope and pray that in the years ahead too the sisters may work with the same spirit of our foundress and the pioneers of the Convent and spread Christ’s love and message of peace to many more generations to come.
Today the Carmel Hindi Medium Higher Secondary School, Raigarh is a prestigious institution. At the primary level the school has co-education but at the secondary and higher secondary level only girls are admitted. The school is affiliated to the State Board of Education and the students are Rank holders every year in both std. X and Std. XII Board Exams.
Carmel English Medium Higher Secondary School is affiliated to ICSE Board and caters to both boys and girls till Std X. At the plus 2 level the school admits only girls in both Science and Commerce streams.
Students are proficient in both academic and non-academic spheres.
In the Std. X Board Exam, Yamini Patel secured the 1st Rank in Chattisgarh as well as in Raigarh District