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Village Education for Women

After 25 years, education for the poor in the remote rural villages of the Palni Hills had changed radically.

Grihini Classroom

Grihinis in Classroom

Anandhi was in the first batch of Grihini students in 1987 and became one of the animators in Grihini. Now some 1500 marginalised women have gone through Grihini training and become advocates of education in their villages.

In her survey of the Grihini story, she recalled that maybe 5% of poor village children reached 5th standard before Grihini started. Now, largely due to the influence of Grihini graduates, about 80% of these children reach 9th standard. She emphasised that Grihini education involved classes in women’s rights, caste politics, health and hygiene, as well as banking and self-expression through dance, drama and song.

All Grihinis now send their own children to school, some of whom have even gone on to College even if it meant taking out government bank loans. The formation of the Grihini community college is an extension of that ever-growing commitment to establish better education for poor and oppressed women in remote villages.

Anandhi also recalled the influence of the Kurunji drama group. By performing in villages and acting out social justice issues, villagers could see the value of education to change the lives of their children.

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