For over 3000 years the Dalits – or Untouchables – have been positioned at the bottom of Indias’ 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.
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 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 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 as a result of a trip to India by Life Association’s director Simon Hawthorne. Whilst there he began to notice a large number of smashed clay pots around the slum areas of Mumbai. These clay pots 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.