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LOCATION

View from Grihini Community College

View from Grihini Community College

Grihini is located in the remote Palni Hills, an Eastern spur of the Western Ghats (mountains) of South India where the indigenous (Tribal) people of India have lived with the land for millennia.



At the centre of this region is the old British hill station of Kodaikanal where missionary and other groups established hospitals, schools and other facilities for expatriates. Since the 1960’s the town has expanded rapidly and become a major South Indian tourist centre.



Kodaikanal is beautiful site, with an inviting lake, a cool climate and meandering mountain drives—an ideal refuge for the rich on vacation.

Poombari, a mountain village with a Dalit colony

Poombari, a mountain village with a Dalit colony



Around Kodaikanal, however, there are about 100 remote villages nestled in the surrounding hills. In these villages, Dalits and Tribals reside in separate colonies where living conditions are often appalling and access to education and health care minimal. These women are the coolie labourers who work in the fields or gather firewood from the hills which they carry on their heads into town.



In the upper Palni Hills logging companies hired repatriated Tamils from Sri Lanka and made them ‘bonded labourers’ who were forced to work from third grade rice. When freed some of these young repatriated Tamil women also joined Grihini.



Grihini Community College is located in Shemabanur, near Kodaikanal, in the middle of these villages, and remains committed to enabling young women from these mountain villages to realise their potential through a non-formal education program since 1986.


Location of Kodaikanal


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