For over 3000 years the Dalits – or Untouchables – have been positioned at the bottom of India’s society and are subject to the most aggressive and dehumanising abuse.
The term ‘Dalit’, meaning “oppressed” or “broken,” is the name members of this group gave themselves in the 1930s. Today’s population is estimated at around 300 million.
Around 20 years ago, Simon Hawthorne and Paul Morley visited Uttar Pradesh, one of the most backward states of India, and fell in love with the people of this amazing country.
They also experienced first hand the injustice
suffered by the Dalit people and it has been their passion ever since to provide education and support in any way they can through the charity Life Association.
In 2010, Life Association launched the Dalit Goods brand to raise awareness of the Dalits’ plight and also funds for the charity. The idea for Dalit Goods came about when Director Simon Hawthorne noticed a large number of smashed clay pots around the slum areas of Mumbai. These turned out to be drinking pots which, for thousands of years, the Dalit people have often been forced to drink from and then smash on the ground as a sign of their supposed untouchability. It is this powerful symbol of oppression that inspired Simon to launch a range of Dalit branded products.
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