The Grihini Program
Grihini Community College


Village Life Dalit Village Street


is a Project in Kodaikanal, South India,
in which oppressed young women between 13 & 23
participate in a 10 month live-in course
that aims to help them free themselves from their plight
and a village extension program
in which Grihini graduates
find ways of changing conditions in their villages.
All these women are extremely poor.
They come from about 50 villages in the Palni Hills
around Kodaikanal.
Some are Dalits (formerly called Untouchables)
who work as coolies, sweeping streets, working in the fields
or smashing rocks.
Some are Tribal people who are forced to work for a
landlord who has appropriated their lands for coffee plantations
and some are repatriates from Sri Lanka.

In the past,
many of these women were drop-outs from Primary School.
All of these women experience oppression by caste people and frequently by the men in their own community.
In 2010 Grihini became a local community college
in which women, having reached 10th standard,
are able to gain an accredited diploma that facilitates
better work and a better future.

Now students have the opportunity to specialise in four main areas:
Office Management
Computer Application
Fashion Garment Design
Multi-Disciplinary Rehabilitation
and obtain jobs
throughout Tamil Nadu.

Kodai Grihini School

The Grihini Program was established in 1987 by Fr Arokiam, Fr. Amulraj, Dency Michael, my wife Janice Orrell and Norman Habel.

To appreciate the nature and impact of the Grihini Project, you are invited to hear and view the story of Chellammal, a Grihini graduate.  The DVD entitled Chellammal: An Untouchable Woman is available from me (  for viewing and promoting the Grihini program.

For the text of the DVD click on Chellammal.  This text gives the background of the Grihini Program through the story of one of its graduates.

In 2007 we celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Grihini Project. For the text and photos of the Anniversary Book, a promotional volume, click on Grihini: Stories of Hope and Liberation. This anniversary volume is now available through Norman Habel (

Those interested in sponsoring or supporting the Grihini Program are invited to click on Grihini Sponsorship.  Sponsorship for a young woman for 12 months is $500.00.  All contributions are tax deductible and all go direct to the project.  There are no overhead costs.

In 2012 we celebrated the Silver Jubilee of the Grihini Program recognising the tireless efforts of so many teachers and supporters over the year.  Special mention needs to be made of the Hackett Foundation which has been a major supporter during thistime.  Copies of the DVD Grihini Silver Jubilee are also available through Norman Habel (