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Grihini is a program that has been operating since 1987. This program has functioned as a school designed to enable women from the poor remote villages of the Palni Hills to gain the literacy, social awareness, skills and confidence to break free from those attitudes and forces that rob them of their rights and dignity. Grihini is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘home science’ or ‘the one who knows the house’.

A Grihini Graduation Class

A Grihini Graduation Class

This new local community college is a continuation of the Grihini program designed to serve the needs of poor and poorly educated young women in the villages of the remote Palni Hills of Tamil Nadu. A glossary is provided to explain terms such as Grihini, Dalit, Tribal and the Palni Hills.

Grihini is intended for women are between the ages of 16 and 24 who are primarily Dalits (Untouchables), Tribals who have been dispossessed of their land through increased acquisition for agriculture and Tamils repatriated from Sri Lanka who became bonded labourers. A few are poorly educated marginalised low caste women. In the past these women have worked as coolies,street sweepers, agricultural labourers or building labourers smashing rocks. By listening to their voices, one can only begin to appreciate the challenges these women have faced and their achievements against great odds.

Since 2010 the focus of the program is extended to provide further education to women who have reached tenth standard and need the language, confidence and skills required to obtain a vocational diploma that enables them to get work in specific areas. The operation of the program is dependent on the generous sponsorship of friends in several countries, especially Australia.

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