Thanal House

A home for destitute women

Thanal House

Purposeful activity: processing palm leaves to make brooms and animal feed

There are many Indians who live and sleep on the streets of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) or in the countryside nearby; often they have severe psychiatric problems, and are at risk, particularly the women.  They may have been deliberately abandoned by their families, or they may have just wandered and be unable to find their way home.

Sam and Valsala

Pastor Sam and his wife Valsala were concerned about the plight of these people, the women in particular, and started to take them into their home.  As the work expanded, they built a large room in their back yard to accommodate them.  But the work continued to grow and even this became inadequate.  The space was cramped, the facilities inadequate, and there was nothing for the women to do all day.

Thanal House: the new building

HHI had been supporting the work for a number of years.  In our biggest fund-raising operation yet, we raised over £12,000 to buy a large plot of land in the countryside near the village of Katakadda, and then a local church partnered with churches in the Gulf States to raise a similar amount of money to create a magnificent purpose-built home for Pastor Sam and his family, and for these destitute women.  The building now provides ample accommodation with cooking and other facilities.   By growing crops on the land or by helping with household activities, the residents can contribute towards the running costs.

Normal life once more: drawing a Hindu welcome / good luck symbol

We continue to send out about £280 a month towards the running costs of the home.  The majority of the running costs are raised locally, with contributions both in money and in kind – one local supporter provides eggs regularly for each resident, another bags of rice.  Uneaten food from weddings and celebrations is another useful source of support.  The home is called Thanal House – Hope House, a fitting name for a place that brings hope and normality to many who had no hope and no hope of normal lives.

Normality restored: a resident folding the laundry

Pastor Sam died some years ago, but the work continues under the guidance of his younger daughter, Salini, who has carried it forward and developed both the facilities and the work done.


A day at the beach, playing with a ball