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. They are born into a culture that devalues them from birth with society considering them lower than animals. The term ‘Dalit’ literally translates to downtrodden or oppressed and there are 250 million Dalits who are exposed to this injustice. On a visit to India, Life Association director Simon Hawthorne noticed a large number of smashed clay pots around the slum areas of Mumbai. These clay pots were drinking pots which for thousands of years the Dalit people have been forced to drink from and then smash on the ground as a sign of their supposed untouchability. It was this powerful symbol of oppression that inspired Simon to launch the Dalit range, ethically sourced and environmentally sensitive products that provide employment to the Dalit people in India. Each product goes towards projects to turn the tide on their oppression and to create opportunities for their children.
FOUNDERS: Simon Hawthorne
Around 20 years ago, Simon Hawthorne visited Uttar Pradesh, one of the least developed states of India, and fell in love with the people of this amazing country and their children. They also experienced first-hand the injustice suffered by the Dalit people and it has been their passion to provide education and support in any way they can ever since.