The birth of a Government College at Manimalakunnu is the culmination of a long-cherished dream of the people in the Thirumaradi-Manimalakunnu area. This kind of effort on the part of people for a Higher Education Institution, is ever inspiring and seldom found elsewhere in the world.
Birth of RES
It can be traced back to August 8, 1976, the day on which a group of visionaries, roughly more than 60 persons, gathered and convened an informal meeting at St. Johns High School, Vadakara. At this meeting, Sri M.J. Jacob, Muttappallil mooted the idea of starting a junior College in the Thirumaradi-Manimalakunnu area for the first time and deliberated upon it. The meeting ended up with the concrete decision of forming a registered society for this end. It led to the formation of the so-called Rural Education Society (RES) with a 21 member strong Managing Committee. On October 10, 1976, the Managing Committee was expanded by including 30 more members. All Panchayat Presidents in the Pampakkuda Block were nominated as ex-officio members. It was also resolved that the local MLA will be a member of the Managing Committee.
The Founding Managing Committee
Sri. K.C Zacharia (Ex-MLA) was a highly educated man holding M.A, LLB degrees in those days and was the Thodupuzha MLA. He was the founder president of RES. The society did a good job under his leadership during 1976-79. The preliminary groundwork for a college was begun earlier than 1976 when the society was formed.
Sri. M.J. Jacob, Muttappallil (Ex-MLA) was the founder Secretary of RES, who continues in the same position even now. He moved a resolution for starting a new college at Manimalakunnu in the first meeting of RES. Being the secretary; he submitted the application for obtaining sanction for starting an Arts and Science college from the University of Kerala and the Government. He started his career and public life as a regional sales manager of FACT. Later he worked and served the people variously as the local MLA (2006-11), Thirumaradi Grama Panchayat President (1979-84 and 1996-2000), Chairman, District Panchayat Welfare Standing Committee, and president Kakkoor Service Cooperative Bank. Under his presidency, Thirumaradi Panchayat was selected as the best Panchayat in Kerala twice.
Sri. Thomas Mathai Pallippattu was the founding Treasurer of the Society who did significant work for mobilizing the resources required for launching the college. He also adorned the positions of Panchayat member, Thirumaradi, and President, Kakkoor Service Cooperative bank.
Sri. K.J Kuriakose was the founding Vice-President, an early visionary, and an important personality who made a remarkable contribution towards starting the college. His sacrifices and selfless public initiatives are well remembered. His glory is that he was a layman. He also took the initiative in constructing a school building at Uppukandom near Manimalakunnu.
Sri. M. C Jacob Malikayil was the founder Joint- Secretary and an excellent farmer at Manimalakunnu. He was an important personality among those who gathered people, money, and resources required for launching the college. He sold about 2.13 acres of land to the society at a very nominal rate. He was the member, Kakkoor Service Cooperative Bank Managing Committee and Trustee, St. Johns Church, Vadakara.
Sri. T.M Jacob became the president of RES in 1979 and continued till his demise on 30-10-2011. His public life was so rich. He had been the MLA for 25 years and one of the best parliamentarians of the Kerala Legislative Assembly. He also adorned the chairs of the minister for education, irrigation, civil supplies, and registration during the tenure of his office. He had helped a lot in obtaining sanction for the college at the administrative level. After his demise, the college was renamed as ‘T. M Jacob Memorial Government College Manimalakunnu’.
Rev. Fr. Mathew Sauriamkuzhi, Vicar, St John’s Catholic Church during 1981 was a member of the managing committee of RES. He contributed money and space. The college started functioning at the parish Hall, St. Johns Catholic Church, Vadakara with his benevolence.
Initiatives of RES
Unlike other government colleges, the applicant for this college was Sri M.J. Jacob, Muttappallil, the then secretary of RES. This is the first instance in the history of government colleges that the secretary of a society applies for establishing a Govt. College deviating from the usual practice of moving the application by the Director, Collegiate Education. Even though the college was recommended by the University of Kerala to the society, the society agreed in principle to hand over the land and assets required for starting the college to the government. Consequently, the government had sanctioned a Government College at Manimalakunnu in 1981.
The major challenge before the RES was to raise money from a purely rural agrarian population to fulfill the mounting requirements put forth by the government for sanctioning the college. The Society had to transfer at least 15 acres of land, furniture worth Rs.50000, and a donation of Rs.500000 or some building worth it’s equivalent. The society surmounted all the hurdles through continuous, constant, and the painstaking efforts of gathering donations and membership fees. The society purchased 20 acres of land at market as well as nominal prices in 40 deeds from different persons ranging from the poorest Thorankili who owned only 3 cents to Cherian Jacob, Malikayil who sold 2 acres and 13 cents. The society surrendered 15 acres of land and other assets acquired to the government in 1984 when late Sri. T.M Jacob was the president, Sri. M.J Jacob was the secretary and late Sri. Thomas Mathai was the treasurer.
Above all, the foundation of our college is laid on the selfless contributions of money and labour of a large number of common people. Thus, ours is a ‘people’s college’