St.Chavara Kuriakose Elias, the founder of CMI congregation, was a great educationalist and a social reformer of the 19th century. He could foresee the changes in the environment and make strategic moves to build up a better society based on fatherhood of God and brotherhood of humanity. St.Chavara Kuriakose Elias, was a great sage that Kerala saw in the 19th century, who left indelible marks on the religious, social and educational fields of Kerala. He began the process of transformation of the people in Kerala, primarily engaged in and known for their acumen in agriculture and business, towards the top layer of educational, social and cultural horizons. It was his vision and farsightedness that enabled the marginalized community of Kerala reach the enviable position in educational field that it has acquired today.
Fr. Chavara realized the vast potentials of education and his work has played a unique role in the building of modern Kerala. If we have to know the depth of his contribution towards moulding the literate Kerala of today, we need to and look at the educational history of Kerala of the 19th century.