Madurai – Pillar

Elisabeth Sanna Women Empowerment Center

Established in 2004 this center has been aiming at the economic self sufficiency and empowerment of women living in poverty and dehumanizing social situations. Initially it focused on women working in the granite quarries.  Teaching them tailoring and providing each one with a sewing machine free of cost at the end of the course the center liberated  numerous women from the granite quarries and made them financially self sufficient.The center continues to offer two tailoring courses – each consisting of six months – for sixty women.  Besides tailoring,  they are  taught also to make dolls, papad, pickle and jam.  They are also given awareness programs related to women, family and social life.The centre has been functioning from its inception within the Pallotti School Campus. As the Government did not permit such activities within school campuses, we were forced to build a new centre. For the last 4 years the centre remained closed and a new building was under construction.The newly constructed Elisabeth Sanna Women Empowerment Centre at Thani Nayagam Adigal Street, Pillar Salai, Madurai, about 300 meters from the Pillar Campus, was blessed and inaugurated by Rev.Fr. Andy Givel, the Provincial Rector of the Swiss Pallottine Province on 13 March 2023. Many former students who learned vocational courses like tailoring, embroidery, etc., were present. Some of them shared their experiences. They were testifying that the skills which they learned from the Centre helped them to lead a dignified life. They are today able to stand independent and support financially their families. Particularly they are in a position to educate their children. The center resumed its activities after a break of four years beginning on 12th July 2023. Currently the following courses are offered. Dress making, Embroidery and Aari work. 37 women are learning dress making, 17 embroidery and  8  are getting trained in Aari work.

Goat Scheme

A young goat is gifted to a low-income family for them to rear and raise income from it.  While choosing families or individuals for this purpose, preference is given to families with female children, widows, and women infected with HIV.  One of the preconditions in the gifting of goat is that the family or individual who has received a goat would give one of the offsprings to another low-income family.  Helped by this scheme, many families have not turned to money lenders in their time of need.  They get a regular source of milk for their family and also use the income from goats to educate their children. 


Children’s Education Scheme

Many laborers and daily wage earners are unable to afford the cost of their children’s higher education.  However, they desire to see them educated in universities and technical institutions. We assist the deserving candidates providing scholarship.  Numerous boys and girls have benefitted from this scheme. They are now employed in good positions

Rural Upliftment Program

Pillar Pallottine community actively involves in changing the face of 16 villages which are known for female infanticide, caste oppression, illiteracy, and discrimination against women. A group of committed women from the villages, despite facing hostility, save children from infanticide. This year alone eight girl children were saved from being killed. They also conduct tuition centres for school going children and help the elderly and orphaned to get the ration cards, pension and access to health services etc., This project is financially supported by the  Swiss Pallottine Province.