World War II had brought in its wake severe food shortage all over the country. For the Salesians of Don Bosco in South India, with a number of orphanages, boarding houses and hostels for poor children, getting enough rice to feed their numerous children was a great challenge. Food grains were rationed and it was not possible to get large quantities of grains to meet the needs of institutions. The situation prompted the Salesians to think about having their own rice fields.
It was in May 1948. The summer was harsh and the fields dry and barren. Fr. Amaladoss Anthonysamy SDB, who was parish priest at Uriyurkuppam, while visiting the villages in the vicinity, came to know that a large stretch of barren land (about 100 acres, in fact), in the village of Pudukesavaram, close to Uriyurkuppam, was on sale.