High Range Development Centre: In 1980 Rev. Fr. John Muringamattom, the vicar of Machiplavu Church, started a welfare project for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in a few areas of Adimaly Panchayath, in Idukki District of Kerala, India. As the Asst. Director of the Kothamangalam Social Service Society, he started schools for S.C & S.T families in different habitats of Idukki Dist.
The Kothamangalam Diocese provided enormous support and seminary students contributed immensely in the active implementation of the project. Though activities were centered mainly in the parish churches under the diocese, the beneficiaries of the respective areas comprise people of different walks of life irrespective of caste, religion or creed. Programmes like maintenance of dwelling houses, sanitation & hygiene awareness, cattle rearing, scientific farming, minor irrigation for agricultural purposes etc. were also introduced.
In 1994 Rev. Fr. Mathew Konickal who came in lieu of Rev. Fr. John Muringamattom, was inspired with an elaborate vision and started a Registered Charitable Society named High Range Development Centre. The project and activities started by Rev.Fr. John Muringamattom continued under High Range Development Centre. Mar George Punnakottil Bishop of Kothamangalam was the patron and Mgr.Thomas Malekudy was the president and Rev.Fr. Mathew Konickal was the secretary – they worked in tandem with the Director Board Members. The organization continues to function as an activity of the Social Service Society under the Diocese of Kothamangalam.
The main objective of the High Range Development Centre(HDC) is upliftment of the poor rural people, particularly in the under developed hilly areas of the districts of Idukki and Ernakulam. The main activities at the beginning were assembling of electronic components and training in scientific cultivation of tea and other crops for which planting materials were purchased from other states and were supplied to the farmers.
The secretary of the HDC approached the Spanish Non-Govermental Organisation, “Mannoose” with two major projects - one for the development of tea plantations and establishment of tea factory and another for Milk procurement and processing plant. The two projects were approved and funds were allotted subject to certain conditions. Rev. Fr. Mathew Konickal continued with the establishment of Jeevan Tea Project .