The arrival of Karl Konermann & Ingolf Grabow from Germany in 1962, has sown the seed of Kolping’s intervention in Indian soil.
Our Journey in detail...
The arrival of Karl Konermann & Ingolf Grabow from Germany in 1962, has sown the seed of Kolping’s intervention in Indian soil. Konermann founded the first Kolping Family in India, at Worli, a district of the dockland area in Mumbai. Kolping House constructed on the church property of the Worli parish served as a meeting point and to conduct educational & training courses.
In 1977, George Rodriguez, the president of the Kolping Family, Worli visited Germany. This visit paved way for collaboration with the International Kolping Society and led Worli Kolping Family to join/form a fishing cooperative that enabled its members to buy boats & modern fishing nets and sell at a fair price.
After studying the operations of Kolping Society in the Archdiocese of Paderborn, Germany, Fr. Paul Pallipadan a catholic priest from the Diocese of Sagar, Madhya Pradesh facilitated formations of 7 Kolping Groups.
A group of young men gathered in Aloor from different parts of Kerala to attend a “Work Camp” and discussed on the problems confronting the youth of India. Fr.Jose Akkarakaran introduced the Kolping’s works to the participants. He started the Kolping movement among 40 young men from 5 different dioceses of Kerala in Aloor. Later in the same year, Fr. Jose Akkarakaran established Kolping Groups in 9 dioceses in Kerala, 5 Dioceses in Andhra and 12 Dioceses in Tamil Nadu. Educational works, social actions, sewing and typing courses for girls and work assignments for men were the major activities. He served as National Director and Praeses of Kolping India till his demise in June 1989.
Msgr. Heinrich Festing, the first General Praeses of the International Kolping Society visited the individual Kolping Families in India from February 23 until March 9, 1981, accompanied by the Augsburg Diocesan Praeses Fr. Rudolf Geisenberger. Msgr. Heinrich Festing formally inaugurated the National Kolping Society of India on March 1, 1981. This became the first National Kolping Society in Asia. On the same day Kolping India begun its partnership with Kolping Augusburg. Programs like Tailoring centers and Typing Institutes were carried out in 9 dioceses in Kerala, 5 Dioceses in Andhra and 12 Dioceses in Tamil Nadu in 1980s.
With the sudden demise of Fr. Jose Akkarakaran in June 1989, the National Board Members unanimously elected Fr.Victor Santiago as National Director. The National Head Quarter of Kolping India was shifted to Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
1991 - 1993
Kolping India Trust was registered and it was approved by the Government of India in 1993. This gave new impetus to Kolping India to continue work for the cause of the poor people. Kolping India introduced the programme of Savings and Credit in 1991 to its 21 dioceses.
Kolping India got the approval from BMZ.
As part of Millennium 2000 year celebration, Kolping India adopted the new Arch diocese of Bangalore.
Adopted 4 more dioceses in Tamilnadu and 2 in Kerala.
The National Office was shifted to its newly constructed own premises at Chennai after functioning for more than 17 years in Coimbatore. Until October 2009, Fr. Victor Santiago with his untiring efforts, implemented in letter and spirit, the high ideals of blessed Adolph Kolping in India. As a culmination of his community building effort, he carried out the democratic election process among the Kolping members in 2009 to elect the National Board for Kolping India. The grass root level Kolping members elected their representatives to the Regional (Diocesan) Boards and the Regional (Diocesan) board representatives in each state elected their representative for the National Board of Kolping India. In August 2009, the new National Board elected Fr. Antony Raj, A. as the National Director and Mr. Paulraj as National President in the presence of Mr.Hubert Tintelott, the General Secretary of International Kolping Society, Germany. The new team took charge on October 27, 2009, on the Beatification day of the founder blessed Adolph Kolping.
Msgr.Axel Werener, the General Praeses of International Kolping Society (IKS) launched the Kolping Disaster Relief Endowment Fund (KDREF) on March 3, 2010.
On October 30, 2014 in the presence of Dr.Markus Demele, General Secretary, Kolping International. Fr.Antony Raj was elected for the second term as National Director and Mr. P. Ramesh from Guntur Diocesan Kolping was elected as the National President for a term of five years. Began Partnership with Sultanpet Diocese & Sultanpet Social Service Society.
Herbal Exhibition developed by Kolping India was inaugurated by Msgr. Ottmar Dillenburg, General Praeses, Kolping International. More than 250 species of herbs were on display. Kuzhithurai Kolping Region was born as a result of bifurcation of Kottar Diocese in Tamil Nadu.
Kolping India took up a pilot project to work exclusively with vulnerable communities in the form of Twinning Project.
Kolping National Association expanded its work in 6 new regions. The Dioceses of Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam, Eluru, Kurnool and Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana States and Neyyattinkara in Kerala State adds up the Kolping Regions to 35.
Kolping Herbal & Integrated Agricultural Training (KHIAT) Farm was inaugurated by Dr.Markus Demele, General Secretary, Kolping International.
After completing 10 years of servce as Fr. Antony Raj stepped down from the position of the National Director and Dr. Maria Soosai was unanimously elected as the New National Director for Kolping India in the presence of Msgr. Ottmar Dillenburg, General Praeses, Kolping International at the election held on 27th October 2019.
Kolping India initiated Humanatarian and Emergency Project interventions under the banner 'Kolping Cares'. The interventions includes Covid 19 Emergency Relief work, Nivar Cyclone Relief work and Distribution of blankets to homeless during Winter season.