Palakkadi is a small town of just over 2,500 people in the state of Kerala, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
It is home to two schools – Palakakkads primary school and Palakkarama Secondary School.
But it is the second-oldest primary school in the region, with a school which opened in 1772.
The school is run by the Alappuzha Christian Mission and has been serving the community for over 100 years.
The Christian faith teaches that Jesus Christ was born in Palakkan, and that He died and rose from the dead in the valley of Kannur.
But Palakkas history has been a complicated one.
The first Christian school to open in the country was founded in Kerala in 1821, and by 1859 the church had grown to include all the Christian denominations in the island state.
However, it wasn’t until 1875, when a small Catholic school in Kannusagar opened, that Christianity began to take hold in the village.
In 1896, the school was renamed Alappulga.
In the 1950s, the town’s population of around 100 people began to dwindle, and its principal, a Christian priest, began to suspect that there was a problem with the school.
“The principal had seen a small group of students who were drinking, gambling, and engaging in sexual activity and that was when he decided that it was time to get rid of the students and get rid off the girls,” says Mr Karan, the owner of a nearby business.
“He said we would have to take out all the students at once and take the school out of the school premises.”
Mr Karant says that the school’s teachers were well aware of the situation.
“We had to work for it.
We had to get a lot of help from the school authorities.
The headmaster had even given us a copy of the Bible, which he had taken from the Holy Quran.”
So in 1965, Mr Karanth and Mr Karthik started the Alapulga School, which today has around 20 students in the school, who have learnt to read and write in the local language.
“It’s a really good school.
I am a Christian too, but I don’t practise it.
It’s just a good environment for us,” says one of the boys, who chose to go by the surname Kalaam.
“I have learnt many languages, and I learnt to speak many different languages.
I also learnt a lot about history and the history of India.”
It’s a good school for the community The students have been working hard in the classroom, learning to read, write and draw.
And they have taken on a host of responsibilities, from providing supplies and cleaning up after the school to supervising the students when they get sick or when they have problems.
It has been an interesting time for the school staff.
“When we started this school, it was just a small school with about 20 students.
In 2012, we had around 2,000 students and the school is now with almost 3,000,” Mr Karthan says.
“Now we have more than 3,200 students.
We also have students who are teachers in the secondary school.
It also has a sports programme which they also organise and teach to the children.”
The school’s primary school also has around 200 students.
It opened in 1872, when the town of Palakka had just been established.
Today, it is one of Kerala’s oldest primary schools, with students coming from a variety of backgrounds.
The girls’ and boys’ classrooms are also full.
“In the primary school, we are only doing English classes.
We teach students from different backgrounds,” says Mrs Karanth.
“Some of the girls have been going back to their villages to look after their crops and their cows.
Some of them have started working in the fields.”
The pupils come from all walks of life and from many different religions.
Mr Karat is a Hindu from Kerala.
“At home, we have a big family, but we still do not have a regular school teacher.
But I learnt some Hindi while I was here and it’s very nice to have someone from my own religion teaching in the primary and secondary school,” he says.
Mr Kalaalam has a degree in English literature and is a former school teacher in Kankarathu.
“There are two schools here in the district.
We don’t have any trouble.
We are well-run and we have staff who know our languages,” he said.
“They also come to us and offer us help.
They have helped me in my studies and have given me the opportunity to get out of my poverty.
It was an honour for me to get to know them,” Mr Kallaam says.
The pupils are all very proud of their parents.
“Our parents are very religious and we respect their traditions. We would