Dalit candles

Dalit Candles, handcrafts, UK (buyer)

Around 20 years ago, Simon Hawthorne and Paul Morley visited Uttar Pradesh, one of the most undeveloped states of India, and ‘instantly fell in love with the people of this amazing country and their children’. Following this trip, it has been their continued desire to provide education and support in any way possible.

Consequently, Simon and his wife Julia started Life Association Ltd, a registered charity that has been building and managing schools and children’s homes in some of the poorest parts of India. In 2010 they started selling clay candles under the brand Dalit Goods Co, using all the profits from the sales to support their work overseas.

Who are the Dalit people?

For over 3,000 years the Dalits have been positioned at the bottom of India’s society.

They are born into a culture that devalues them from birth and there are 250 million Dalits who are exposed to this injustice.

Case studies

SANGEETA

Sangeeta has been married for 10 years but was unable to pay for her own health treatment due to lack of finance. She said: “After saving money from my salary with Dalit Candles I was able to pay for medical care.”

SHIlPA

Shilpa is married with two children - one son and one daughter. Her husband works in a small company. With the extra money they get from her work they are now able to manage the family finances. She said: “We were in debt but have been clearing the debts little by little. As a stable family with an increased income we now hope to educate our children in a proper school.”

DURGA

Durga has two sons, who are studying, but the family were struggling to pay for education. Durga said: “My family is only supported because of my work in the candle factory. As Dalits it is hard to get good jobs, so I am very grateful.”

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