Nirakar gives Akar to the future of Goa

The history of Nirakar Education Society goes back to the pre-liberation Portuguese era when people concerned about educational prosperity came forward to start Marathi medium schools in the village of Loliem in Canacona taluka, the southernmost taluka on Goa-Karnataka border (then Goa-India border). With the blessings of His Holiness Gokarn Partagal Mathadheesh Indirakant Teerth Swamiji, in 1924, the villagers came together to set up three schools – No 1 in Loliem, No 2 in Mashem and No 3 at Panaskhandem, on the border of Poinguinim village. They started as primary schools, from Standard I to IV.

The concept to run the schools was Mushtifund. A handful of rice each student would contribute and the dedicated teachers would teach the students with the ‘salary of rice’. There was no independent school premises. The village temple was also the temple of knowledge and education. The school No 1 was thus running in Shree Keshav temple, No 2 in Shree Nirakar temple and No 3 in Shree Venkatesh temple.

Eventually, the School No 3 at Panaskhandem closed down. But School No 1 was converted into today’s Shree Damodar Vidyalaya, Loliem and School No 2 into Shree Nirakar Vidyalaya, Mashem. The Shree Nirakar Vidyalaya kept on shifting its classes from temple to Agrashala, depending on the festivities.

After struggling for the first 15 years, the Nirakar Vidyalaya started working with regular classes from Nirakar Devalaya’s Agrashala from 1939. But the school was shifted to its independent premises only in 1950. This was just a building of four rooms, what we see today from left side, where Headmaster’s chamber is located.

The building was later extended with more rooms in 1958. The then NES president late Tukaram Lolayekar, an eminent businessman and social worker, took initiative to take up this task at his own cost. The building had become mandatory to get recognition from the Pune Board of Education, Maharashtra to start a full-fledged High School with the batches of SSC (Std XI in those days). Nirakar Vidyalaya was the second institution in the whole of Canacona taluka, after Mallikarjun Vidyalaya, Char Rasta, Canacona, to start full-fledged classes.

With the accomplishment of this Herculean task, the first batch of SSC passed out from Nirakar High School in the academic year 1962-63, soon after Goa’s liberation in 1961. It was a matter of pride for the school that the result of the first batch was 100 per cent, with all the 17 students studying in SSC passed out. Till then, the students of Nirakar High School were going for their higher studies across the border, either at Majali or Karwar.

The Nirakar Education Society then took up construction of two rooms in 1961, which are the small rooms of today’s school hall. The Nirakar Education Society as well as the Loliem-Pollem Village Panchayat started functioning from these two rooms of the hall. The Panchayat was later shifted to its own premises in Loliem in 1963.

Later on, a hall – called Samaj Mandir – was constructed in 1963, adjacent to these two rooms, leaving half of its area open. It was inaugurated at the hands of then Lt Governor Mr M R Sachdev. (The hall area was extended and fully covered with proper roofing as well as walls in 1989-90.) This was followed by annexe building on the hill top with six rooms, two of which were big rooms, in 1963-64. The need was felt as the strength of students started increasing with its best performance in academics as well as all-round development of the students in co-curricular activities.

The school then continued progressing while celebrating its Silver Jubilee (25 years) in 1964-65. The grand celebration was honoured by Goa’s first Chief Minister late Bhausaheb alias Dayanand Bandodkar.

1991 was the year of a major transformation that took place in the history of Nirakar Education Society. The Young Brigade, which had passed out from the school in recent times, took over the management of the Society with an aim to upgrade the quality of education and rise to new heights. Mr Prashant Naik took over as the President of Nirakar Education Society at the age of 28 while Mr Prasad Lolayekar took over as the Chairman of the Managing Committee at the age of 23. Most of the members of the newly elected committee were around the same age.

The young management then took a major step to set up S S Angle Higher Secondary School in 1993. With the financial support rendered by a Margao-based businessman and social worker Mr Ramakant Angle, the premises was shifted to a new venue at Dapot in Mashem in 1995-96. The higher secondary made its mark at the state level by producing the best talent which is making its presence felt in different areas of Goa’s social, cultural, literary, sports and educational fields.

Yet another major step was then taken by the Young Brigade when it responded to the advertisement by the Education Department, Government of Goa, to come forward to set up a High School in a remote area of Tudal in Gaodongri village in Canacona. This predominantly tribal area of Canacona did not have a High School for 37 years even after Goa’s liberation.

The Nirakar Education Society thus spread its tentacles outside Loliem village by setting up Tudal High School in 1998-99. While classes were started in Saraswati Mandir, the Young Brigade also constructed its first building, with four classrooms, within one year.

This was the year – 1999-2000, when Nirakar Education Society celebrated its Diamond Jubilee. India’s eminent scientist of Goan origin, Dr Anil Kakodkar, graced the occasion while series of programmes were also held this year to upgrade the academic standard of the teaching faculty.

By 2002-03, Tudal High School constructed a two-storied full-fledged building. The school has made its mark with best performance in the academic as well as in the co-curricular field.

By 2011-12, the S S Angle Higher Secondary School took yet another important step by starting a Science stream.

In 2012-13, Tudal High School was granted permission by the Education Department to start a Primary School in Konkani medium.

In addition, the Nirakar Education Society is today well equipped with one of the best playground – Nirakar Maidan – at Dapot, an Indoor Stadium as well as a Hostel for the needy students.

Nirakar Education Society has proved to be one of the best institutes today in Goa, just not in Canacona, to give Akar (shape) to the student community.

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