The Dalit People In India, for over 3000 years, the caste system has meant that if you are born as one of the 250 million Dalits (also known as untouchables or outcastes) then your opportunities in life are extremely limited. This includes limitations in education, health-care, employment, even where you can worship. Imagine then how difficult it is to be an orphan amongst the Dalits, in a country where there are no Social Services and few orphanages that could care for you, and where you are considered lower than animals and are subjected to the most aggressive and dehumanising abuse.
The Life Association 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. It has been their passion to provide education and support in any way they can ever since. The caste system, India's system of ordering society, continues to enslave and discriminate against multi-millions of people in India and the people of Life Association are committed to raising awareness of their plight in any way they can. For the last 20 years, Life Association has been building schools and orphanages amongst the Dalit communities in India, but with our help they want to do much more.
Dalit Candles The idea for Dalit Goods came about as a result from 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 the range of Dalit branded products. It is the charity’s goal to cover as much of their overheads as possible through the trade of these Dalit goods so that the maximum amount from donations can go directly into their work in India. Dalit's beautiful clay pots are hand crafted in the Dharavi slum in Mumbai by skilled Dalit potters. This work is reserved for the low caste as anything associated with the earth is considered lowly employment under the caste system of India. The pots are filled with blended beeswax. This combination of Eastern skill and Western design result in a great gift. (Also see their new range of wonderful Indian spices - if you love to cook with authentic and top quality spices... look no further! Another perfect gift idea too...)
All Life Association profits from the sale of Dalit candles and Indian spices goes towards their work amongst the poor of India.
We have the following Dalit Candles available. All pots are filled with blended beeswax in a lavender scent (with a hint of vanilla) and are beautifully boxed as per the photos. (NB Babu is not Lavender as others, but Dalit's Coconut fragrance.)
Karan - Single - £6 - resembles the clay pot that Indian women are often seen carrying when returning from the well. Approx Burn Time: 26 Hours - Candle Dimensions: L 8 x W 8 x H 6.5 cm
Deepti - Set of 3 - £13 - in an elegant clay pot which is a miniature version of vases widely seen in India. Approx Burn Time: 26 Hours each - Candle Dimensions: L 7.5 cm x W 7.5 x H 7 cm
Murgan - Set of 4 - £14 - the Murgan candles again resemble the clay pots that Indian women are often seen carrying when returning from the well. Approx Burn Time: 20 Hours each - Candle Dimensions: L 6.5 x W 6.5 x H 4.5 cm
Murgan - Set of 6 - £17.50 - as above but Set of 6.
Rahul D'lights - Single - £1.50 (or x50 for £60) - These are called D'lights for "Dalit lights" as they make a great alternative to metallic T'lights. These lovely little candles have proven to be very popular as wedding favours (available in packs of x50 single boxes for such purposes at £60 - special order). Candle Dimensions: L 4 x W 4 x H 3 cm - Individual Burn Time: 4 hours
Rahul D'lights - Box of 10 - £8.50 - the same lovely D'lights but in a boxed set of x10. A great gift.
Babu - Set of 2 - £8 - a lovely and simple clay pot, boxed in twos. Coconut Fragrance. Approx Burn Time: 26 Hours - Candle Dimensions: L 9 x W 9 x H 7.5 cm