We, the Jesuits belonging to the Jesuit Chennai Province are missioned in central part of the Province opting to work among the most neglected Arunthathiyars (Dalit-Untouchables) of Northern Tamil Nadu since 1999.

AHAL centre is located at Kilpennathur in Thiruvannamalai District working in 60 Villages of 2 Civil Districts (Villupuram and Thiruvannamalai) and making periodical interventions in other Districts too

To ensure Arunthathiyar people a dignified, decent life and equal rights and to make them assertive and self-reliant.

The Arunthathiyars of northern Tamilnadu, especially at Thiruvannamalai and Villupuram districts are few of the most neglected, despised and vulnerable groups among the  Dalits. They are triply exploited by the dominant caste groups, by the Government and by the Church. They have neither property nor permanent income nor education nor  political power and authority nor even any human dignity. Since, quite a number of them are Roman Catholics, the Indian              Government considers them as Backward Caste (BC) and they do not get any benefits from the Government unlike their Hindu brethren. The educational situation among these people is dismal in nature. They have been discriminated in every sphere of life. 

Fittingly, the Jesuits of Madurai Province initiated a new mission called ‘Sahaya Matha  Mission’ in 1999 for  Arunthathiyars in Thiruvannamalai and Villupuram districts.   A Social Action Team (AHAL – Action for Human Rights and Liberation) and a Parish were born in order to work among the Arunthathiyars. At  present, there are 60 villages in 9 Unions, namely Chengam, Thiruvannamalai, Kalasapakkam, Polur, Vettavalam, Kilpennathur, Chetpet, Vandavasi,                      Melmalayanur, Gingee and Mailam. 

From the begining, the AHAL Jesuits had been working for the Arunthathiyars especially for the Christian Arunthathiyars and have been extending their services to Puthirai Vannars (the Washer Community for the Dalits), the Gypsies, Thombars (Pig-rearers), Irulars and other marginalized Groups in the Vicinity. In all our ventures, women, youth and children are the focal point.

  • To promote Corporate Community Leadership.
  • To empower women with gender justice. 
  • To build people’s movement to fight for their cause.
  • To assist the children to obtain quality education.
  • To facilitate the people to access their basic livelihood rights and needs.
  • To  intervene  in  the  issues  of  caste  discrimination  and    violence against Arunthathiyars through Legal Aid. 
  • To  create employable opportunity to youth and women 
  • Creating awareness through cultural troupes and capacitating thru training programmes.
  • Providing formal and non-formal education.
  • Enabling them to participate and make decisions for their own destiny.
  • Forming people’s movement and be linked with the other movements.
  • Advocacy and  Lobbying.
  • Developing knowledge, skills and perspectives to 
  •  Community Leaders

Founders of the Organization: Frs. Joseph Michaeel, Eugine Rozario and Arockiaraj Raphael. 

Type of Organization: Non-Profit Organization  

Name of the  Organization: AHAL (Action for  Human  rights And Liberation) Centre.

Address: Santhaimedu, Tindivanam Road, Kilpennathur,      Thiruvannamalai Dt, Tamil Nadu, 604601. 

Email ID: ahalmaiyam@gmail.com 

Mobile Number: 7812831938

Target Group:  Arunthathiyars  

Special Preference:  Catholic Arunthathiyars  

Focused Groups: Youth, Women and Children. 

State: Tamil Nadu  

Number of Districts working in: 2 (Thiruvannamalai, Villupuram)

Number of Taluks working in: 9

Number of Unions working in: 11  

Number of Panchayats working in: 18

Contact Villages: 60

Area of Intervention: Educational Empowerment, Economic Development, Social Enchancement, Political Advocacy and Lobbying. 

Funding Sources: Jesuit Chennai Province. 

Number of Employees: Field Staff – 5, Domestic Staff – 2, Office Staff – 2, Campus Staff – 2, Social Education Centre Animators – 30.   

Name of the Society: AHAL Jesuit Society 

Date of Registration: 24-July-2007 

Registration Number: 108/2007

  1. JESIM – Jesuit Irular Mission, Tindivanam. 
  2. ASSET – Chenglepet. 
  3. TLM – Thurumbar Liberation Movement, Gingee. 
  4. Loyola College, Chennai. 
  5. Loyola College, Vettavalam. 
  6. Dalit Liberation Movement, Thiruvannamalai 
  7. Tamil Tigers Party, Thiruvannamalai 
  8. Adhi Tamilar Party, Villupuram 
  9. Tamil Nadu Untouchability Abolition Front

Through our intervention for the past twenty one years, there is a strong social and political awareness created among the youth, women and children. Educating the children has become the prime concern among the people. People’s readiness to collaborate with other like-minded groups and political parties on various issues related to their welfare has increased. Our commitment in building houses for these people has really given them self-dignity. Our presence and accompaniment helps them move slowly and steadily towards self-reliance, self-governance and self-respect.

  1. Identifying Potential leaders and Cadres among men and women
  2. Creating corpus funds for education, women empowerment, training on human rights and legal issues.
  3. Ensuring employability to all the unemployed youth and women.
  4. Strengthening the unorganized people through networking and trade union.
  5. Combating caste and gender issues at various levels.