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Changed Lives of Village Women

After 25 years the lives of many of these Grihini women from mountain villages had improved dramatically.

Ganeshammal, who was also a student in the first batch of Grihini students, related some of her experiences. Hers was a very difficult life; her husband left her and her second daughter died from poisoning. She persisted, however, and is proud that her first daughter, who had never danced, is in the current Grihini class and has taken a major role in the celebration dance at the Silver Jubilee.

Shanti, another student from the first batch, was once very timid. She had dropped out of primary school. Grihini gave her the confidence to speak out forcefully and clearly. For many years she functioned as the chief animator for the women studying at Grihini. At a recent parent teacher meeting she made such an impression with her speech that the headmistress wanted to know who she was-- a woman so articulate and ‘cultured.’ Her answer was simply: ‘I am a Grihini.’

Valamarthi, who is now on the residential staff, was abandoned by her mother when a child, sent to school by her father and abused violently by her husband until she saw no point in living. Then she came to Grihini and turned her life around. Now she is a confident woman acting as a resident mother to the Grihini women.

This confidence of the Grihini women is illustrated by the first verse and refrain of the Grihini theme song:

There’s a flower that grows in the high Palni Hills;
It blooms only once in twelve years;
There are women who live in those high Palni Hills;
Who know but a lifetime of fears.

Refrain:

Grihini! Grihini!
This is your time to bloom.
Like a Kurunji
This is your time.

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