Grihini class
As many will know, Norm Habel married Heather and Roy in a wonderful ceremony on Henley Beach Pier in Adelaide in December 1984, and fortunately was able to join us in Singapore, with zero notice, to conduct Heather's farewell ceremony. Heather and Roy visited Norm in 1985 in Kodaikanal, just prior to the foundation of the Grihini project, to which Norm now dedicates a large part of his life. If you wish to commemorate Heather in a concrete way, we feel sure  she would wish you to do so through this project, which is so closely aligned with Heather's own commitments and values. The project is a very practical one, directly empowering the poorest and least powerful, but those with the greatest potential to strengthen their whole community.

Grihini is

  1. An eleven month live-in course for oppressed young women that aims to help them free themselves from their plight.
  2. A village extension program in which Grihini graduates find ways of changing conditions in their villages
Dalit Village

Grihini Women

The young women accepted into the Grihini Program are between 13 and 23. All are extremely poor. They come from about 50 villages in the Palni Hills around Kodaikanal in South India. Some are Dalits (formerly called Untouchables), who work as coolies, sweeping streets, labouring 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.
Many of these women are drop-outs from Primary School. Some reach year 10 in school. Very few reach year 12. All of these women experience oppression by caste people, and frequently by the men in their own community.

Poombari - Palni Village


Grihini Graduating Class

The word of the caste landlords is that Dalits are:

“Born to work, not to read”


Sponsorship means:


Donations will be appreciated in any amount

For more details about sponsoring a Grihini woman for one or more years, or contributing to the Grihini Program, contact Prof. Norman Habel A.O. –


Donation and Sponsorship form

(please fill form, print and post; we have no mechanism for on-line donations)

Your Name:             

Your Address:         

Your Email:             

“I would like to sponsor a young woman like Chellammal for a year in the Grihini” 

“I would also appreciate a copy of the DVD Chellamal: An Untouchable Woman    
to promote the Grihini program”

“I would like to donate to Grihini”                                                                                        

Please  make cheques payable to: ALWS
(Australian Lutheran World Service – earmarked “for Grihini”)
and forward to:
Dr Norm Habel
10 University Way
Bellevue Hts SA 5050

PS: All contributions to Australian Lutheran World Service are tax deductible in Australia. All contributions go directly to Grihini. There is no body that takes money for overhead or administration.