In August 2005, a new Marist secondary school was opened in the village of Mangamanuthu in Southern
India. It is still in its first year of operation. Currently three Indian Marist Brothers fo rm the community
there and the Brothers also work in the local parish primary school. Br Paul Turner from Sydney offers
support from Trichy.
The new school has been built on infertile agricultural land purchased from the local community with
International Marist Solidarity Funds (BIS). The two schools serve six neighbouring villages where there
are many Catholic families without access to education and many students in this region have been
ceasing education at the end of primary school or even before this.
Most of the Mangamanuthu villagers belong to the group now known as Dalits (in the former caste
system in India they were known as ‘Untouchables”). While the caste system is illegal today, the culture
of South India is still prejudicial towards this minority and thus since 1999 the Marists have chosen to
work among these people and extend their families’ educational opportunities.